Over the holidays, I ended up seeing a series of travel food tv shows all featuring MEAT. While I enjoy a variety of foods, and enjoy a lot of vegetarian soups and stews and the like, the shows were pretty convincing. I wanted big steaks, brisket, and ribs.
It’s a little too cold in central Illinois to grill. Our grill lives in the garage since we don’t have a patio, so we only pull it out for cookouts in the summer. It’s a hassle to drag it out in windy, freezing weather; I don’t man the grill, and I don’t have the heart to tell my husband to go outside to check on the grill. I also can’t imagine Alex dragging the grill through the snow. I knew that I’d be able to cook ribs in the oven, so I looked around for a fool-proof recipe.
I made Simple Oven-BBQ Ribs. It had good reviews on Food Network, so I hoped it would work well for me as well. Alex is doing a low-carb diet, so I wasn’t going to be able to put barbecue sauce on the ribs (that he would eat); I was hoping that this rub would be flavorful enough without having too many carbohydrates in it.
Side note – when I think about cooking things Alex can eat right now, I generally think of spices as not having any carbs. While they have negligible amounts of carbs in moderate amounts – the quarter teaspoon of pepper you might sprinkle on your food would have .25 carbs – ribs use a lot of spice rub. I didn’t crunch any numbers for Alex on this recipe; I just hoped that it wouldn’t be carby.
I had 3 pieces in the package I bought at the grocery store, so I assumed they were half-racks (I don’t know too much about ribs), and made 75% of the recipe. This was a good assumption. The spice rub recipe at the bottom of the page made a ton, and I knew we wouldn’t want that much, so I quartered it. I misread a measuring spoon or two so I got too much salt in the rub; when I mixed the 4.5 tablespoons of rub with the celery salt, black pepper, and salt, I decreased the salt. I actually only used a half teaspoon of ground celery seed (not salt), and may have added the heaping 1 teaspoon of salt that 75% of the recipe called for.
My focus wasn’t on what went into the rub, though – the cooking method was actually what I had looked for most. I lined a 15-inch pan with foil long enough to wrap over the top to cover the ribs. The pan was the perfect size for the 3 half-racks of ribs I had. I put the ribs in the pan (fat-side up) and coated them with the spice rub. I folded the foil over the ribs – the ends met on top so I rolled them up to seal them. I sealed in the edges of the foil as well. I roasted the ribs in a 300F oven for about 3 hours before I opened the foil to brush barbecue sauce on a part of my ribs. I baked them for another 20 minutes uncovered.
The ribs were amazingly tender. I could just pull the meat right off of the bone. This oven-roasting method worked incredibly well. The only downside was that they didn’t taste grilled. The spice rub was good, but I like the barbecue rub I made last year more. The oven-roasted ribs were salty and a little spicy (what Alex calls tasty-spicy), but they didn’t really taste barbecuey like I prefer, even where I had barbecue sauce. I’ll definitely cook ribs like this again, but I don’t think I’ll make the spice rub again.