Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spin Cycle--Give Me a Story With Dinner

Every family has that one recipe that comes with a story.  Usually about the first time it was made or about the reasons it was made.  I've been with Nick going on 19 years now and This one was hard for me to come up with.  Oh, we have our stories, but they don't tend to revolve around specific recipes.  We have our New Year's tradition of seafood, and for the Superbowl we do appetizers.  I have certain recipes that I make and enjoy, but there aren't stories to go with those.
Hmmm, the Superbowl is coming up.  I could tell you about making what Turbo calls Mom's World Famous Ribs.
the year Bruiser was a year old, we knew we weren't going anywhere for the game.  We had been making appetizers and hanging at home for a couple of years--not big party people us.  I had done lots of different appetizers, but not baby back ribs.  We had invited some friends over to watch the game with us and I wanted to make some good ribs.
I had done pork ribs before, but we usually just put season salt on them and then grilled them.  Well, I wanted to do something a bit different, so I went hunting through my cook books.  In my Better Homes and Gardens Grilling cook book I found the recipe for Chuck Wagon Baby Back Ribs.  It didn't look too complicated and sounded quite good.
I had Nick fire up the grill and I collected ingredients and away we went.  Making these ribs is a two person endeavor--I spice and make the marinade, Nick grilles them.  We had no idea if they would be good, but what we got was something fabulous.  The ribs came off the grill perfectly done, tangy, sweet, spicy, sticky, and wonderful.
Here is the recipe:
Chuck Wagon Baby Baby Ribs
4 to 5 lbs. pork loin back ribs or meaty pork spare ribs
1 recipe Chuck Wagon Rub (to follow)
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tbsp. bourbon
1 tsp. bottled hot pepper sauce

1.  Trim fat from ribs.  Sprinkle chuck wagon rub evenly over both sides of ribs; rub in with your fingers.  If desired, cut ribs into 2- to 3-rib protions.
2.  For sauce, in a large bowl combine wine, pineapple juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, bourbon and hot pepper sauce.
3.  Place rib portions, bone sides down, in a large roasting pan.  Pour sauce over ribs.  For a charcoal grill arrange medium hot coals around the edge of the grill.  Test for medium heat.  Place uncovered roasting pan on grill rack in center of grill.  Cover; grill for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours or until ribs are tender, spooning sauce over ribs every 20 to 25 minutes.  For a gas grill, preheat grill.  Reduce heat to medium.  Adjust for indirect cooking, except do not use a drip pan.  Place uncovered roasting pan on grill rack directly over where drip pan would be.  Cook ribs as for charcoal grill..

Chuck Wagon Rub
In a  small bowl combine 1 tbsp. black pepper, 2 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt, 2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. dries parsley, and 1 tsp. dries oregano, crushed.
Picture from Better Homes and Gardens
Don't those look finger licking good?
There are a couple of things I do to make this easier.  I use a large aluminum pan in the grill.  It makes clean up so much easier.  I do cut the ribs into smaller pieces--more meat to expose to the good stuff, and much easier to manage when turning and basting on the grill.  And we do turn the ribs.  It says not to, but to cook evenly turning the ribs helps.
Well, there you have it.  the recipes that we do all the time with ribs now.  I've even done a pretty good version in the oven when the weather did not cooperate to grill outside and we really wanted ribs.  Give them a shot, they are really good.
Go check out Gretchen at Second Blooming for more tasty spins with a story.

Second Blooming


  1. Delicious!! I love ribs. And Jude loves them too, which is a bit of a miracle. I hope you're making them for the game this year!

    You're linked!!

  2. YUM! I love the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. It's so brilliant- clearly! Thanks for sharing this one. :D

  3. I'll have to pass this recipe on to my mom! When she wants to make a special treat for my nephew, she makes him ribs - he calls them "doggy bones" and he loooves them!

  4. I have a recipe for "chuck wagon" turkey chili that's really good. We should do a virtual theme night between our families. ;-)

  5. they look yummy and sound yummy but everytime i cook ribs they come out tough and chewy not tender

  6. They look and sound delicious! I have never tried grilling/cooking ribs before, I might just have to now.


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