July 24, 2008

bbq ribs & bean salad

I was about to call this classic combination three bean salad, which is the most common name for the recipe, but my husband called my attention to the fact that it actually has four, and not three, kinds of beans in it. I mixed a can of red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lima beans and french-cut green beans along with some corn kernels and sliced red onion. It was the ideal side dish to the baked barbecue spareribs we had for dinner. Watching the many grilling and barbecue cooking shows on television since the start of the summer season fired up my craving for good old fashioned barbecue spareribs. Before I knew it, I was pressing the barbecue dry rub, which I mixed ahead, right into a rack of ribs. I bought St. Louis Style ribs instead of baby back, which I heard tends to be meatier but baby backs may cook faster. We're not fans of baked beans, especially the overly sweet kind, so the right combination of the beans with the tart vinegar dressing was a good balance for the dish. The bright color of the salad also provided contrast to our barbecued dish. Our grill wasn't ready to use yet so I baked this in the oven. It took about 5 hours or more in a low 275 degrees oven setting for the ribs to be tender, although it was still not falling off the bone tender. It would take an additional two hours to get it to that extra tender stage but the ribs were still a success. I guess I'm over my craving for now, until the next one strikes again!


One rack of St. Louis style ribs
Dry rub [recipe below]

For the dry rub:
In a covered glass jar, combine & shake together the following ingredients:
2 Tbsps paprika
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsps salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Hot Vinegar Sauce:
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsps sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Trim the underside of the rack by pulling the thin fatty membrane. This will let the dry rub adhere better under the rack. Press about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the dry rub on the meat per side. Wrap the rack in plastic cling wrap and marinate in the fridge overnight. The next day, place the rack on a piece of heavy duty foil and loosely wrap it, before placing it on a roasting pan. Set the oven to 275 degrees and roast the meat for approximately 5 to 6 hours. The meat should pull away from the bone, with about 1 to 2 inches of the bones exposed. Remove the foil cover to brown the top of the meat. Slice and serve hot with or without barbecue sauce.

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