Saturday, March 22, 2014

Barbecued Ribs, by Request

March 16, 2014

Barbecued Ribs
Quick Baked Beans
Broccoli Salad
Homemade Sourdough Bread

Barbecued Ribs from Cook's Country
Barbecue Sauce from Cook's Country
No-knead Sourdough Bread from Chicago Tribune

I originally planned a different dinner for this Sunday before St. Patrick's Day. It wasn't entirely by design, but it worked out nicely that I was planning to make Guinness Beef Stew and Irish Soda Bread. But our daughter, Caryn, was going to be home from college for Spring break and she asked for Barbecued Ribs. The weather here in San Jose has been getting warmer: I have been wearing shorts most of the time for a few weeks and Diane and I have started eating dinner outside as we prefer to do. So it seemed like a good time to uncover the grill and do some barbecuing. I don't say this to flaunt our good weather to my family in upstate New York who have had a long, cold, snowy winter, but rather to provide them hope that Spring will certainly come and will be arriving soon.

Because I got a late start cooking, dinner was served late. The St. Louis cut pork spareribs were treated with a dry rub on Friday night and sat in the refrigerator until Sunday afternoon. They were  smoked on the grill for several hours and then cooked for a few more hours in a 250° oven. If not for the lateness of the hour I would have cooked them a little longer in the oven and then let them rest before serving. As a result they were cooked, but still a little tough. Nonetheless they were good and the four of us for dinner, including Caryn's friend Bryan, enjoyed them. We had 1½ racks and at the end we had only a few ribs left over.

I made a barbecue sauce to go with the ribs, though a bottled sauce could also have been used. It was a little too spicy for Diane and me, and there is a lot of it left over that will probably be thrown out. Caryn used two heads of broccoli from our CSA produce box to make a cold broccoli salad. The dressing is quite sweet but this went well with the ribs. I once again made the quick Boston beans that we have enjoyed on several occasions. Surprisingly, for having been made with canned pinto beans, they were a little toothsome and, as always, a little soupy though this is not really a problem. I bought store brand beans, perhaps they aren't cooked as much as the brands I have used previously. I also made a loaf of sourdough bread. The recipe used is different than others in that it includes both starter and yeast. It is a no-knead recipe where the dough is made 18 hours or so in advance and the long rest leads to gluten production. The bread was good.

This was a good dinner based on a good warm-weather menu. I believe I prefer baby back ribs, though, to these spareribs, and I prefer the method I used to cook them last year which was quicker then the multi-step method used for these ribs. I don't regret not having the Irish-themed meal, I was happy to have had the opportunity to grant Caryn's dinner wish.

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