Way back before I kept kosher, baby back ribs were one of my favourite things about the South. I even went to a fake theme restaurant for an early double-digit birthday one year to get riblets. As you can imagine, it's been some years since I've had pork ribs, so I took the occasion of my friend Laura's birthday cookout to make my own.
Grill cooking is definitely different than stove cooking. The heat's not as reliably even, there's wind, you're generally outside, and sometimes people don't keep their grills so clean. I'm still not so good with steak on a grill, though some venison-burgers I cooked this day came out well (as I'm generally able to do). The ribs, though, they came out PERFECT. I'm very proud.
Gotta start the day out with some brew.
Early arrivals. No one wanted to sit in the sun, so while I was prepping my ribs, everyone got the available seats. I had to sit on top of a vestibule. Which is fine. I like the way vestibule sounds. Also got to control the tunes from up there and chose some Genesis.
Had I more time, I would've made my own marinade and rub. Seen the shows; read the books. I know what a proper barbecue (non-pit) will entail. Unfortunately I came to the decision to cook baby back ribs while I was at the supermarket just minutes before hitting the party. Seeing as that was how it was, I bought the ribs, grabbed a can of pickled Goya jalapeno slices, and grabbed a bottle of Stubb's sauce. I know I can trust Stubb's, I eat there almost every year at South by Southwest.
Here I salted and peppered the rack (after cutting in half), then coated in Stubb's and jalapenos before wrapping in Saran Wrap. I let this sit for over an hour.
While I was waiting for the ribs to finish, I cooked the venison burgers Laura made. They contained ground venison, bacon, onions, and garlic, so far as I know. You see, once I decided to start up the grill I became the grill master and basically cooked everything except Graham's fajita steak.
Yes, all of those people are that beautiful.
While I was at it I fuelled my lastest obsession with Instagram.
Here you can see the ribs slow-cooking with the last of the corn and some of Nicci's tortillas. Nicci's a budding horticulturalist and one of the great people at The Sparrow Tavern.
Shortly after this photo I got the sleepy drunks and had to go home. Still, the ribs were tender, juicy, spicy and flavourful. Best of all they were gone within ten minutes. Definitely making ribs again at least twice before the summer is out.
Your soundtrack for this entry: Genesis - Land of Confusion.