Monday, November 17, 2008

Sinful Pork Ribs

From what I understand, gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. I think, after tonight, I've racked up enough of that particular sin to last a few lifetimes. Know that, if I had to do it all over again, I would!

It all started innocently. I was coming home from getting a haircut when I stopped by a new meat shop in town. It's owned by a fellow member of the local Rotary Club. So, I figured it would be OK.

I walked in and scanned the place. It's the usual local meat shop ... mostly pork and chicken with some random vegetables for those who don't want to go down to the mercado to pick out the best available (pay more for lower quality just to save time? no thanks ... not for me).

The sales girl asked "how much of the pork do you want?" I simply replied "all, please". Why all? Because pork ribs are hard to find around here. I have one place in town where I can get them on a regular basis and I won't tell anyone else. Most of the local pork ribs are snatched by the restaurants before the ribs even hit the market. This might be a second place where I can get ribs. That's good.

So, I took the ribs home and go to work ...


I preheated the oven to 300F (150C).

Then, I prepared the meat. I took each piece and trimmed it of excess fat. I also like to cut the spinal portions from the rib portions. This is fairly easy to do if you have a sharp and sturdy chef's knife. If you don't have one, get one! Mine is 20 years old. They are absolutely worth the investment!

Don't forget to remove any silverskin! That stuff doesn't chew well, doesn't let through any flavors, or anything good. It's just an impediment to your eating pleasure. Remove it with extreme prejudice.

Here is the final product. From left to right, I have one rib piece, one spine piece, and a bit of extra that I will use later to grind into ground pork for making sausage.

Here are my basting utensils and supplies. Notice the lovely bottle of Kuya's Kitchen Kansas City-style Barbecue Sauce. Oh, what a grand bottle and such a fancy, fancy label upon it, too!

I laid out all the prepared and cleaned ribs onto a half-sized baking sheet. Oh, look at all those lovely ribs sitting there waiting to be seasoned, sauced, cooked, and eaten!

I sprinkled approximately a tablespoon of salt onto these and let them sit for an hour.

After sitting for an hour, I poured some of my barbecue sauce on the ribs and used the brush to get the sauce everywhere.

After brushing all the ribs with sauce, I transferred the ribs to a 9" x 13" roasting pan. Why I didn't just put the ribs in there in the first place? Honestly, I don't know. Perhaps my mother dropped me on my head too many times as a baby. In any case, next time I'll just put the ribs directly into the roasting pan.

I poured about two cups of the barbecue sauce all over the ribs. I sealed the pan with aluminum foil. Then, put the pan into the oven for two-and-a-half hours. Yes, 150 minutes! Seems like a long time. Trust me!

Here are the ribs after their 2.5 hour stint in the hot box. Wow, look at them. Yes, I removed the aluminum foil.

At this point, I turned the temperature up to 350F (175C). I also basted them heavily with their own juices.
Then, back into the oven for another 20 minutes. You could eat these already, but don't! Let a nice thick juicy layer of sauce form on the ribs. You'll be happy you did.

Here they are. Nearly three hours of cooking and they are magnificent!

Let the ribs sit for about 10 minutes. This will let the juices distribute nicely in the meat.

I used some tongs to pile these up onto a plate to serve. The only problem I had was that the meat was so tender that the ribs tended to break apart.

Test Results

Primary Test Group: We've already eaten, kuya ... but, we'll have a bite. *chomp* *chomp* *chomp* Good kuya! *chomp* *chomp* *chomp*

I suspect they liked it. Here's what they left of the 2.5 kilograms of ribs:

And, here's one of the ravenous beasts my sous chef attempting to gnaw on the bones!

Test Group C: Small sample going out. Update to come soon.

Potential Improvements

More ribs.

Potential Variations

More ribs.

Try cooking in the smoker with coconut sawdust to make the smoke.

Maybe a little extra flavor like cooking them with onions on top or try cooking them with potatoes.


Definitely needed more ribs.

Absolute winner. I had a hard time cutting the ribs apart they were so tender. The meat was just falling everywhere.

I'm so proud right now ...

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