Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lazy Food

So the Superbowl is coming up and I am really looking forward to it.  No, no, not for the football.  I'm not the sportiest person on the planet.  I've got some inner-ear dysfunction that makes me clumsier than your average human.  My clumsiness is almost of epic proportions.  Able to sense your most breakable possessions and destroy them in a single moment.  Spilling things on herself and others almost without even trying, it's. . . Maladroitica! 

No, what I'm really looking forward to is the commercials and the food!  I love commercials that make an effort, are funny or weird.  Superbowl?  Perfect time to watch a couple, in between pages of my book.  You know, when the men in armor and tights try to bludgeon each other.  And lets be honest - I'm always looking forward to food.

Here's what I might be convinced to make, had I not made them last weekend - ribs! Actually, I'm pretty sure of what I'm planning to make and they don't include these.  But maybe you want to!

See how the board is all messy and saucy?  That's the measure of a good rib in my opinion.  These are back ribs, not short ribs or country ribs which I would cook in a completely different way.  They spend a lot of time just sitting on their butts in the oven.  Lazies!  You spend a nominal amount of time slathering sauce on them.  You live to serve.

These are also so supremely easy to make, it is ridiculous.  Let your oven have the glory.  Even my fickle oven can handle these.  The key is having some really good barbecue sauce.  I like Bone-Suckin Sauce and chipotle sauce, but any thick, bottled sauce will do. 

A big slab of ribs
Barbecue Sauce
Aluminium Foil

Preheat your oven to 375.  Ooh!  My favorite oven temperature!

Aluminium foil is your friend.  You are going to bake these for a long time and the last thing you want is carbonized sauce forever welded to your nice baking pan.  Or your patchy, old, bumpy baking pan that has seen better days but has job security because you prefer shoes to boring stuff like replacing baking pans.

So wrap your baking pan in foil.  I use a cookie sheet; a rimmed one.  Your ribs will exude some juices and much better that they don't drip onto the floor of the oven.  Salt and pepper the ribs all over and put the meaty side facing up.  Hold your horses on the barbecue sauce right now.

Bake the ribs in the oven for 20-30 minutes.  How long exactly?  Kinda doesn't matter.  This is just to sear the meat a bit and keep it juicy.  Take the ribs out, flip them over and slather barbecue sauce on the side facing up.  The bony side.  I wish I had a bony side. Brush it all over so you have a good glaze of sauce.  Put them back in the oven for 20ish minutes.  Not less than 20 but if it stays in a bit longer, no biggie.   Take them back out, flip them over, and pour more sauce on the side facing up, the meaty side.  I have two of those depending on your perspective.  Brush it all around and put it back in for ANOTHER 20 minutes.  Take it back out after 20 minutes. Don't flip them, but pour one final lashing of sauce over the ribs, spoon it all over, and bake 20 more minutes.  Take them out, turn off the oven.  Good job, oven.  That was like an oven 5k.  Thanksgiving?  Oven marathon.

Now this is where you need to be very careful because you've got molten hot barbecue sauce on those ribs.  The ribs should also be insanely tender, so if you just cavalierly pick up the ribs with some tongs, half of them might just break off and fall, and you've just put more than an hour into baking these puppies, which means that you'll reach out your hand and grab them, thereby fusing sauce onto your finger and giving you a huge blister.  You might say a couple of choice words, but I guarantee you they wouldn't be your mother's choice.  Have you ever noticed that swearing makes you feel better?  I have.

Anyway, carefully move them to a cutting board and cut the ribs individually.  I served mine with gratin potatoes and steamed broccoli. The gratin potatoes were even kind of healthy!  Well, healthier than most.  You'd think after all that time in the oven, the ribs would be dry, right?  Well, they're pretty juicy and delicious.  I know.  It boggles the mind.

Bone appetit!  Ha ha.  Oh, I kill me.  Tip your server, I'll be here all week!

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