I’m calling these Rub n’ Slather Ribs because they are cooked in two stages. Overall, these ribs take about four hours to cook at a low temperature of 250 degrees. The first stage is to cook them for two hours after applying a rub. After the first two hours, you add barbecue sauce and cook for an additional two hours.
I really dislike store-bought barbecue sauce. It doesn’t matter what the brand is; the stuff just doesn’t taste good to me. One of the things I dislike about them is the “smoke” taste. If you, on the other hand, like that smoky flavor, you can simply add “Liquid Smoke” to the homemade barbecue sauce.
The rub calls for an ingredient called Vulcan’s Fire Salt. This indispensable little condiment can be ordered from The Spice House, and it’s one of the things I keep in my spice cabinet. If you don’t have it or don’t want to wait to try these, you can always use a Cajun spice — which can be purchased at your local supermarket. The barbecue sauce also calls for a bit of a specialty product called Slap Ya Mama. You can also replace that with a Cajun spice. However, I highly recommend that you get both of these and stock this stuff.
This recipe works with both baby back ribs and regular ribs.
3.5-4 lbs pork ribs (baby back or otherwise)
Ingredients for Pig Rub
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp Vulcan’s Fire Salt
1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
Ingredients for Pork Slather Barbecue Sauce
16 oz tomato sauce
4 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup ketchup
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp Slap Ya Mama Cajun spice
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp onion powder
3 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fresh-ground black pepper
1.5 tsp sea salt
Mix together all the ingredients for both the rub. Be sure to mix well.
Prepare the ribs by cutting the top flap off each rack of ribs. Keep for use in another recipe, like say, a black bean soup (which I promise to get to).
Line baking dishes with aluminum foil (depending upon how many racks of ribs you’re cooking). Apply the rub liberally to both the underside and the top of the ribs. The idea here is to have absolutely none left over.
Place in the foil-lined baking dish(es) and cook for two hours, uncovered, at 250 degrees.
While the ribs are cooking, mix all of the ingredients together for the barbecue sauce. Whisk at the end to ensure that everything is incorporated.
At the end of two hours, remove the ribs from the oven and slather the top with barbecue sauce. Be sure to cover the whole area using a brush. Cover the ribs with aluminum foil and return to the oven for another two hours. After two hours, remove the aluminum foil and switch the oven to “Broil.” Leave the ribs in for an additional 5-8 minutes. Be sure to put the oven hood on and open a window. I’ve set off many a smoke detector with this kind of behavior.