Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Adventures in Rib Making - A Responsorial Post

This post is in response to the Amazing Kristina Martin (aka @quickmissive), who issued a proclamation on Twitter. She announced that making ribs is EASY.

Being a non-cook, I replied that ribs seemed utterly the opposite of easy, and that I would gladly wait for a night out at a restaurant to enjoy some.

But the Amazing Kristina was adamant! She even posted an entire blog entry about her rib-making process, with ingredients and steps, and a shout out to Yours Truly. ~blush~ Find the blog post here.

After reading Kristina's blog, I felt the spirit move me, and I agreed to try making ribs of my very own. I fully expected to burn them, because if past experience has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that I am fabulous at ruining delicious recipes. Possibly because of my seething hatred for cooking.

But I did not burn them! In fact, I am quite vain of the ribs I made. I even posted the recipe, and photos of my triumph, at the end of this post. Huzzah!

For The Record

Curly fries are tastier than straight fries. FACT.
I've known for some time that the Amazing Kristina is the kind of person who enjoys cooking. I reeeeeally like that kind of person, especially in the face-to-face world, because they tend to also enjoy feeding people. And I adore food. Mmmm... all kinds of food. I especially love trying new dishes and discovering new favorites. I suspect if I lived closer to the Amazing Kristina, I would happen to stop by all the time to see what she was up to in the kitchen. I would probably bring cupcakes and cookies.

I, on the other hand, do not enjoy cooking.* Which is an understatement. I hate cooking with the kind of hatred that inspires villainous greatness. I don't fight cooking-hatred, because it's in my genetic make up. The deficiency was spotted early in childhood and sadly, there is no treatment. Because of this, I rarely cook, though I do follow boxed directions and prepare meals for my family. WITH LOVE.

*I feel a distinction between "baking desserts" and "cooking". I love baking treats! If asked to describe the difference between the two, I would probably give a vague response about cooking involving stirring and sizzling and watching pots, or something. I don't know! But before I know it my attention has gone elsewhere and the cooked foods do not resemble what I intended them to resemble. Meanwhile, baking desserts comes naturally, and it definitely doesn't feel like cooking. Baking feels cozy and makes the house smell like cookies.

Back To The Rib Making!

Indeed! I made ribs! Technically, I baked them, which is possibly why they came out so fan-freaking-tastic! The DH was stunned to see such a meal when he came home from work. Usually, our dinners are sad affairs that the family picks at with heavy hearts. "What flavor mush, today?" "Chicken flavor, I think."

That which transforms raw ribs into goodness.
But, last Friday, rather than wonder whether I'd made mashed potatoes or over-boiled the rice again, (it's usually over-boiled PASTA, but I don't correct my sweet little angels. Starch is starch, and impoverished children would be HAPPY to eat it, so that's all I have to say), INSTEAD, my kids devoured home-cooked ribs and curly fries!**

**I had meant to add a vegetable side of some kind like I normally do, but I am forgetful, especially when trying something new, so I just didn't. I think this meal would have gone great with corn, had I remembered.

Without further ado, here is how I accomplished this feat of strength!

Ribs So Easy, Even A Diana Can Make Them

Ingredients That I Used:

1 pack of Baby back ribs
5 tablespoons of Liquid Smoke (an ingredient I never knew even existed beforehand!)
1 bottle of beer (I used Blue Moon brand***)
Loads of Seasoning Salt
1 large bottle of Honey Barbecue Sauce

People. Raw meat looks gross to me.
***The Amazing Kristina said "beer or apple juice". Beer sounded more exciting, but I don't drink beer, and the choices at the store were overwhelming! So I asked Twitter. Luckily, the Fabulous Trisha Leigh (aka @TrishaLeighKC) who is FROM Kansas City, Missouri and therefore the supreme authority on all things barbecued, she said that Blue Moon would be ideal. That is what I used.

What I Did:

1.   First off, I set my oven to 275 degrees (this is what the rib package said, though Kristina said 250 degrees... but, raw meat! I had to go with the package). Then, I lined my pan with foil. If I were to do this again, I would buy a disposable foil pan because all the juices went under the foil anyway, and my pan was gross.

2.   Next, I put the ribs in the pan and poured the Liquid Smoke on top of them, followed by the beer. Then I sprinkled Seasoning Salt all over them, until the slab of ribs looked like a sugar cookie. I was careful to avoid touching the ribs because, EW RAW MEAT. Feel free to rub in the salt, or flip the ribs over and salt the back, if you don't mind touching the rawness. ~shudders~

3.   I covered the ribs with foil and put them in the oven for three hours.

Nearly cooked. AKA, where I cheated and used BBQ sauce.
4.   Here is where Kristina's instructions became a little fancy, something about coating the ribs with mustard and applying a pork rub; I could have Googled what in the world she meant by "pork rub" but it sounded complicated, and she mentioned barbecue sauce as a viable alternative. HEY NOW, THIS I UNDERSTAND. So, instead of all of that, I poured barbecue sauce over the ribs, covered them with foil, and returned them to the oven for another hour.

At this point, my house smelled incredible, and the children had come sniffing into the kitchen. I used the toaster oven to make curly fries according to the trusted package directions.

Ribs in all their glory! YUM.
And MAGICALLY, when the timer went off, there were perfectly cooked ribs in my kitchen! It was a glorious day!! They were the most scrumptious ribs, so juicy and yummy. My kids loved them, and 8yo even asked for ribs as his birthday dish!

There you have it--victorious rib making! I could totally make these again. Thank you, the Amazing Kristina! You were RIGHT. Making ribs is easy, hooray!!

To anyone who uses my modified Amazing Kristina rib recipe, you're in for a super meal of epic awesome. <3