So let’s chat for a moment about my associate’s favorite meal. What is that, might you ask? RIBS. Will loves ribs, especially of the dry rub variety.
Back in November, Will and I went to a post-Thanksgiving dinner at his Mom’s house (my soon to be mother-in-law!). I should mention that she is an absolutely wonderful chef (trust me, I’m lucky to have been eating her food for almost 9 years, and it is DELICIOUS). A few days before the dinner, Will’s Mom wanted to know if we would rather have meatloaf (because her meatloaf is magical) or ribs. Will basically told her either would be great.
Well, as you may have guessed, she chose to make us the ribs. She ended up making both dry rub ribs, and those with sauce. Although both were amazing, Will and I became obsessed with the rack sans sauce. These ribs had absolutely amazing flavor and fell right off the bone.
As Will and I were spending our very first Easter far away from family, we wanted to make food that would make our belly and our hearts happy. We also wanted to keep the budget in mind.
I gave Will a few options, but as I had suspected, he chose ribs. So, Will immediately texted his Mom to retrieve the recipe for her absolutely mouthwatering ribs.
While out the next day for our normal Saturday shopping, we picked up the few ingredients that we didn’t have.
Alright, so here is the recipe for the dry rub for 2 racks of ribs:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbs kosher salt
- 1 tbs dry mustard
- 1 tbs ground fennel
- 1 tbs pepper
- 1 tbs cayenne
- 1 tbs sweet smoked paprika
As you know, it’s just the 2 of us, so we opted to make 1 single rack. While at the store, we consulted with Will’s Mom via text messaging, and were told to buy baby back ribs. This is very important.
We found a rack for about 6.99 at our local grocery store. This perfectly fit into our budget, and was plenty for 2 people.
So, as you may have guessed, Will and I simply cut the rub recipe in half. Also, we could not find sweet smoked paprika, so we simply used regular paprika. Additionally, we do not have a spice grinder, so we emptied our salt mill, and tried to semi grind the fennel that way.
Now, once the rub is physically massaged into both sides of the meat, wrap your ribs in foil, and let them sit OVERNIGHT in the refrigerator. The next day before cooking, you will want to drain, and toss that original foil (as the rub brings moisture out of the ribs).
So here is where we made a HUGE mistake…
We did not marinate the ribs overnight 😦 . Thankfully, we were able to let the rub set into the meat for about 6 hours on Easter Day. Spoiler Alert: it all ended up being better than okay.
When you are ready to cook your rack(s), line your baking sheet(s) with fresh aluminum foil, preheat the oven to 250 degrees, and cook those babies for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
THE AROMA. Ohhhhh myyyyy. This will make you mouth water, I promise. The worst part?? YOU CAN’T EAT THEM FOR ANOTHER FEW HOURS.
When the timer goes off, your life will change.
The long awaited moment had finally arrived, the first bite!!! Will and I shared the first rib, of course! Just, wow.
We served our magical ribs with homemade Buttermilk and Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes and our Brussels Sprouts.
Honestly, these ribs did not quite melt in our mouths as Will’s Mom’s did. Her ribs were the definition of perfection. But, with time, and actually letting the rub set in overnight, I think Will and I are going to be there soon.
Don’t get me wrong, these were literally AMAZING. Although it could never replace the fact that we weren’t with our families, it was quite a wonderful distraction.
Will and I both ate until we were absolutely stuffed, and had the proper holiday food bellies 🙂 .
Please take the time to make this recipe. It is SO easy, delicious, budget friendly, and most importantly life-changing.