It is never too early to plan for a weekend barbecue.
With the Memorial Day weekend winding down, our family had one last barbecue before the sun set on Monday. Ribs have been on our minds lately so I made a grocery list of 2 items for The Husband and No Thank You Boy.
2 slabs of baby back ribs
6 ears of corn
I had planned a menu of baby back ribs, sauteed sweet corn, grilled yellow squash and peppers, and garlic bread and only needed a few items from the store.
Being that it was late in the afternoon on the last day of the start of the barbecue season, there were no baby back ribs to be found. My shoppers picked up a mammoth slab of Fred Flintstone-sized pork spare ribs instead. The preparation of the meatier spare ribs is just like that of the smaller baby back ribs so dinner prep did not have to be altered.
The ribs are simmered in a couple bottles of beer for 2 hours until tender. After being rubbed with spices, the ribs are grilled. One slab is slathered with barbecue sauce and one is left with just the peppery, salty, and slightly sweet rub. The fresh corn saute takes about 10 minutes to prepare (recipe in a future post) and the squash and peppers grill along with the ribs. A long loaf of bread is spread with butter and browned in the oven. The toasted bread gets a quick rub with a couple halved garlic cloves, and dinner is served on the deck.
We all loved the meatier ribs. As baby back rib devotees, this unplanned dining diversion was a success. I surprised that the ribs with just the spice rub were hit. Typically, we love our ribs all sauced up. With My Middle One and No Thank You Boy polishing off the loaf of garlic bread, I will remember to make a larger loaf next time so I get a slice.
Note about eating grilled peppers -- I picked up a dozen or so long hot peppers for the Shrimp Kebabs with Thai Ginger-Chile Marinade I made for a weekend party. With a handful left in my refrigerator, I had The Husband grill them along with the yellow squash. When dinner was served, the first thing he ate was a whole pepper. Big mistake. Colossal mistake. He can eat the hottest salsas and tops almost everything with hot sauce, but this pepper had him downing glasses of milk and chomping on endless ice cubes. With his mouth on fire and eyes watering, he almost couldn't enjoy our rib dinner because of the pain the pepper caused.
A friendly reminder to pepper lovers - a small bite goes a long way.
Barbecued Spare Ribs 2 Ways
1 slab of pork spare ribs - about 4 pounds
2 bottles of beer
1 large onion, sliced
for rub --
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce such as Sweet Baby Ray's
Cut ribs into 2 smaller slabs with about 6 ribs each. Trim any excess fat. Pull off the membrane on the underside of the ribs.
Place ribs in a large stock pot and add the beer, onion and enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for about 2 hours. The meat should begin to pull away from the bone but still be attached. Remove ribs from pot.
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the rub. Rub both sides of the ribs with the spice mixture. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium high. Slather one slab of ribs with the barbecue sauce while leaving the other slab with just the spice rub. Grill ribs for about 6 - 8 minutes on one side. Flip both slabs over and slather the sauced slab on the other side. Continue grilling for and additional 5 - 6 minutes. Remove ribs from grill and slice between the bones to serve.