To celebrate Father's Day, I did one of my dad's favorites, ribs. My brother Brian taught me how to do this never-fail method of getting tasty, tender ribs. I like them so well, that I don't even add bbq sauce.
I used half a package of ribs from Costco, which was about 3.5 pounds of meat and it was enough for 4 adults. We served it with corn on the cob and potato casserole (aka: funeral potatoes). I could have made these today, but I did it last night and just put the pot back in the oven to warm them up this afternoon.
3-4 T. cajun spice mix
1 T. cumin
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Mix up the spices and set aside. (I'll be honest, I don't really measure any of these ingredients, I just mix until it seems right, the cajun mix makes it a bit spicy, which I like...or you could use a rub that you just buy at the store)
Take the meat out of the package and pat it dry with a paper towel. If your ribs still have the silver membrane on the back (my Costco ones did not), you'll need to pull that off.
Sprinkle the spice mix all over the top and press into the meat (both the top and the bottom). I was in a bit of a rush, so I let it "marinate" on the counter while I let the meat come to room temperature and while I waited for the oven to pre-heat. You could do this overnight or a few hours in advance and just put in the fridge.
Cut the meat into 4-rib pieces and place in a dutch oven (or other heavy covered baking dish). I like to put about 1 tablespoon of oil in the bottom of the dutch oven first. Be sure to arrange the pieces of meat so that some of them curve up and others curve down, giving air lots of room to circulate around the pieces. (According to the cooking shows, meat should be room temp before you throw it into a super hot oven, so I let mine come to room temp first..which was about 20 minutes).
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. With the lid OFF, put the meat into the oven for 30 minutes. Don't open the oven and check on it during these 30 minutes. When the buzzer goes off, open the oven, put the lid on and turn the oven temperature down to 200 degrees-and then don't open the oven again until you are done. Continue cooking at 200 degrees for 20 minutes per pound (so I ended up cooking my 3.5 pounds of meat for another 1 hour 10 minutes, for a grand total of 1 hour 40 minutes).
I cannot believe that I forgot to take a picture of the done ribs...guess we were hungry :) The high temp cook at the beginning helps sear the meat and develop a nice crust. The low temp cooking renders the fat and make the meat nice and tender. I have on other occasions (when it isn't pouring rain outside) fired up the grill and put the already-baked ribs on a hot grill for a minute or two on each side to crispy up the edges or add bbq sauce.
I figure that for 4 servings of ribs, corn, potatoes and huckleberry ice cream (bought that at the store, Tillamook brand, my dad's favorite) I spent less than $4 per person. Take that pricey rib joints!