Thursday, June 14, 2012

Carolina Style BBQ Baby Back Ribs

My favorite meal as a child was baby back ribs.  I frequently would order an entire rack of them to myself and polish off the whole thing.  In fact, I loved them so much that I remember refusing to eat any of the sides because I wanted to save my entire appetite for the ribs.  Maybe I was born to be paleo and didn't even know it.  This is a recipe I created with a Carolina style bbq sauce, meaning, it is mustard and vinegar based instead of katsup and molasses based.  This gives it a nice rich flavor without the added sugars and preservatives.  I used my all time favorite technique for cooking ribs:  bake them low and slow and finish them on the grill.  You end up with the best of both worlds:  they are fall off the bone tender but still have a nice smoky grill taste to them.  The whole thing will take you about 3 1/2 hours so cook them on the weekend when you have time to really give them the love they deserve... and then thoroughly enjoy this special treat.

I served my delicious paleo bbq with some grilled zucchini slices

1 pack baby back ribs, membrane removed

Smokey Dry Rib Rub Ingredients:
1tsp African Smoke Seasoning (from Trader Joe's)
2tsp salt
1tsp thyme
1tsp paprika
1tsp chili powder
1/2tsp cayenne (less if you don't like spice)
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder

Carolina BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
1/2c stone ground brown mustard
3/4c yellow mustard
9 packets Truvia OR 1/2c Splenda OR 1/3c honey
3/4c apple cider vinegar
2tbs chili powder
1tsp smoke seasoning
1tsp pepper
1tsp white pepper
1/2tsp cayenne (optional)
1/2tsp soy sauce
2tbs butter

1. Preheat oven to 260F.  In a small bowl, mix together dry rub ingredients.  Rub generously over the ribs (you will have some rib rub leftover, save it!).
2. Place ribs in a large baking dish and cover with foil twice (good and tight!).  Cut the ribs in half if they don't fit.  Place in the center of the oven and bake for 3 hours.
3. Meanwhile make your sauce:  Combine all ingredients except the butter in a large saucepan.  Mix well.  Heat over medium until boiling.  Stir and let cook down a bit until it becomes a rich sauce (cook about 20 minutes).  At the end, add in the butter and stir until melted. 
4. When the ribs are done (they will be tender so be careful with them), use a pastry or bbq brush and generously brush them with the mustard sauce.  Heat your bbq grill to medium-high and finish the ribs off on the bbq (about 5 minutes per side).  You want the mustard to cook on the ribs and give them a nice bbq flavor without overcooking them.
5. Serve hot.

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