It’s almost blasphemous to not spend the day home loving these delectable Springdell Pork Ribs while they cook. However, duty calls. The kids were spending the day with my mom, Nan, and my other half. This morning I was off to church to work on the many preparations for the Strawberry Festival, then attempted to volunteer at the Community Gardens but ran out of time… I had to get back home to have a band practice for an upcoming gig, and then Sunday dinner with our good friends, the Bucks. (No time for love, Dr. Jones…) I could, however, give these beauties a loving caress early this morning before tossing them in the pot, assured that they’d be ready and waiting upon my return.
This recipe is an adaptation from my Uncle Harry’s famous ribs, whose recipe is a carefully guarded secret, and hence this is my best attempt at reverse engineering the flavor. I started by rubbing the ribs in a little salt and pepper and passing them through a 400 degree oven for a little over 5 minutes per side. (Some recipes that brown their meats in this fashion call for 10-15 minutes per side, however fresh local and “real” meats often cook much quicker than the industrial counterparts.) Usually there is a draining of fat from the meat at this stage, but given the lean meat produced locally at Springdell and Gibbet Hill, there wasn’t any fat to drain!
While the ribs were taking their quick trip through the oven, I mixed up the magical sauce. The first part of the recipe calls for about two cups of your favorite barbecue sauce. In this case, I literally used “Our Favorite” brand barbecue sauce, available at the farm stand. I love it because it’s not a sugar or corn syrup-based barbecue sauce, but gets it’s flavor from fresh herbs and tomatoes. (I recently read that there are more sweeteners in some popular barbecue sauces than in your average candy bar! Zoikes!) I added in my own sugar to taste (anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup packed brown sugar). Next 2-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of dried oregano (from last year’s dried herbs), 2 teaspoons of worcestershire sauce, and a dash of hot sauce.
Slow cook for 8 hours (or 4-6 if using fresh Springdell pork ribs) and you’ll have fall-off-the-bone yumminess! These are great with mashed potatoes, as the sauce can double as a drizzly gravy. Today, without a lot of time to prepare, I instead went for the roasted potatoes and the asparagus. A great salad with fresh tomato finished off the meal.
Both the country style and the babyback ribs came out yummy, and it’s always a pleasure to see our friends, even if it seems like a whirlwind sometimes. The dinner table can provide such a sense of family and a sense of grounding. Goodnight, all!