It was a long weekend packed with lots to do. Although there was little relaxation involved, it was still a great one, with Dina's sisters, brother-in-laws, niece and nephews in town from Toronto. Lots of laughter, entertaining the kids and spending quality time with the family made the weekend a blur. The little sleep we got quickly caught up with us and made a slow-cooking, stick-to-your-ribs barbecue dinner essential for this work-free Monday.
We snatched up a rack of baby-back ribs from the grocery store and I got to work on a dry rub to marinate the ribs for a few hours. I combined old bay seasoning, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, dried thyme and rosemary, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and a pinch of sugar and treated the ribs to a soothing massage to ensure that the seasonings penetrated into the meat.
Now, the key to my famous bbq ribs, is slow cooking through indirect heat. I turned up the heat on both burners to preheat the grill for 5 minutes. When it's time to put the ribs on, I turned off one burner and placed the ribs on that side, while tuning the other side to medium heat. I shut the lid and patiently waited for 45 minutes before opening up the lid again. When the time came, I flipped the ribs to the other side and waited another 45 minutes. The sign that you're almost at the basting stage is a slight pinkish-red appearance to the edges of the meat, which usually comes at the 1:30 hour mark.
At that time, take your favorite bbq sauce, preferably a slightly sweet and spicy one, and lightly brush both sides of the rack and turn the heat back on (to the low setting) to allow the sauce to caramelize slightly. Close the lid and get a glass of your favorite (alcoholic) beverage to help pass the time. After about 5 minutes, flip the rack and baste the other side. Another 5 minutes and one last baste on both sides. By now, the entire rack should be glowing a smoky red color and the meat should start to loosen from the bones. Check out the pink around the edges (it's all about the smokiness):
To make it easier to grab and eat, we sliced the ribs after every 2nd bone. Since we started making this, our desire to eat ribs outside the house has diminished. For a simple, no-nonsense dinner, we just check the propane level, grab our favorite magazines and make a lazy day last forever. Well, almost forever.