I like good ribs. Pork spareribs cooked slowly over an open fire. Milady likes ribs. Likes them a lot. The problem with cooking ribs is that when Milady gets "rib hungry", we tend to get on the motorcycle and find a rib joint. That makes good sense when there are only two of us. Ribs are easy to find in barbeque hungry Louisiana, and we get to explore restaurants and rib joints that we wouldn't find if I were cooking ribs at home.
This weekend, though, we were hosting a birthday party for my grandson, and I decided to cook ribs. I called my resident expert, who runs a rib joint in Natchitoches, LA, and asked him.
"Ribs are easy, Dad". My resident expert is also my youngest son. "Cook them for six hours. I like to give them a good dry rub, then cook them at 350 for four hours, then marinate them in a good sauce for a couple of hours, then put them back on the pit for two hours. Watch 'em close those last two hours, they'll start to fall apart."
So, I did what the boy told me. He didn't give explicit instructions, because he grew up cooking at my elbow and we think a lot alike. I dry-rubbed the ribs with Tony Chachere's and put them in the oven for four hours, then took them out and marinated them with a marinade of half cheap barbeque sauce and half beer. I added a shake or two of Tabasco sauce, some Worchestireshire, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. I made a hell of a mess in the Lady's oven, which I have to clean shortly.
Then, I put them on the pit, keeping them mopped with that same marinade mixture. One rack started falling apart after about an hour. The other two racks maintained their composure until I put on the sausage.
The ribs are stacked on the left, and the pit is covered in sausage. Moving the ribs was difficult as the meat had separated from the bones. I let the sausage brown on the grill then loaded everything into trays. Inside, Milady had cooked beans and a potato salad, with good garlic bread.
These are wet ribs. The marinade sauce is in the container to the left of the pit. I used a common, cheap-bought-at-Harbor-Freight brush to continue to marinate the meat while it cooked. Everytime I turned those ribs, they got a brushing with that sauce. These are wet ribs. It is a cooking philosophy that has stood the test of time.
Other places cook barbeque dry, without the marinate added during the cooking cycle. A pox on those places. This is barbeque like it was intended to be.
Time for me to clean the oven. Next time I'll do the whole thing on the pit. It's a lot easier to clean than that oven.