The most succulent tender ribs come from slow roasting. At least that’s my conclusion based on many attempts to get that tender fall off the bone ribs. I started with a dry rub inspired by Bobby Flay then sealed the ribs in a foil wrap and slow roasted for several hours. I placed the wrap on a broiler pan and filled the bottom pan with water which worked as a steam bath. I made a sauce using the new Rotel tomato sauce and rub seasonings. The sauce had a kick that complimented the ribs perfectly. We had a meal of ribs, roasted corn and tomato salad so there was plenty to eat but I swear we just couldn’t get enough of these ribs. Every time we picked up a rib the tender meat would just fall apart.
The dry rub called for chili powder. I always make my own so I pulled out my stash of dry chiles and decided on a NM Red, 2 Ancho chiles, 1 Puya, and 1 Chile de Arbol. Use whatever chili powder you have on hand or make your own. The heat of the chili powder will be a factor in how hot the ribs and sauce are.
These are the ingredients for the rib rub and I’ve already measured them out and put them in the bowl for you. Bobby’s recipe calls for an added tablespoon of Cumin so if you’re a fan add that in as well. I’m not a big fan of Cumin and left it out.
A little prep work now. Place 2 strips of aluminum foil together and fold the end 2 times. Separate foil to make one large sheet. Place your ribs in the center of the sheet.
Seal the foil wrap and around the edges. I did the prep work in the evening and set these in the fridge overnight so that the spices could set into the meat. I think this helps bring out the flavors but if you are on a time crunch you can go ahead and start cooking.
The sauce can be made ahead of time or during the cook time of the ribs. You’ll need some diced onion, minced garlic, spice rub, ketchup, Rotel tomato sauce, liquid smoke, yellow mustard, cider vinegar, Worcestershie sauce, and brown sugar.
To that add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke. Stir and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour over low heat.
If you have a broiler pan you can add water to the bottom pan to steam while cooking, if not add a baking pan with water and set on the lowest rack of your oven. Cooking time is 2 hours at 300 degrees, 1 hour at 350 degrees. Turn the oven off, remove ribs from oven and let sit for 15 minutes in the foil wrap. Get your coals started on a charcoal grill. While the coals are heating unwrap the ribs from the foil, mop some of the Rotel barbecue sauce over the ribs and place back in the oven until time to go on the grill.
Save that end piece for me!
Fall Off The Bone Ribs with Rotel Barbecue Sauce
2 1/2 – 3 pounds Pork Loin Ribs
Rib Rub Seasoning, recipe follows
Rotel Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows
Rinse and pat ribs dry with a paper towel. Generously sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons rib rub seasoning over both sides of ribs and wrap in an aluminum foil wrap. If time permits, let foil wrapped ribs sit refrigerated overnight. Place foil wrapped ribs in a 300 degree oven for 2 hours. Place over a broiler pan filled with water or place a baking pan filled with water on the lowest rack of oven.
Turn the temperature up to 350 degrees and continue baking an additional hour. Turn the oven off, remove ribs and allow to rest, still wrapped, for 15 minutes. Start your charcoal and place the hot coals on one side of the grill. Uncover your foil wrap and mop lightly with Rotel barbecue sauce. Place the ribs on the opposite side of the hot coals and let sauce glaze 30 minutes. Let ribs rest for a few minutes then cut the racks and serve with barbecue sauce.
Serves 2 – 3
Rib Rub (adapted by Bobby Flay’s Rib Rub)
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1 tablespoon Chili Powder (I ground a combination of NM Red, Ancho, Puya and Chile de Arbol)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon White Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Any unused rub can be used for another recipe.
Rotel Barbecue Sauce
1/2 Sweet Onion, diced
1 – 2 cloves Garlic, minced
Olive Oil, for drizzling
3 teaspoons Rib Rub Seasoning (see above)
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup Rotel Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons Yellow Mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
Drizzle olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and saute about 3 minutes or until onions become soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and rib rub seasoning and stir. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate. Any unused sauce can be kept in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Makes about 2 cups.