Okay, I don’t mean to make things more complicated than they need be. It just kind of happens. For example, I was at the grocery store and saw that pork ribs were on sale. “Aha, I know that there is a rib recipe in the Chatelaine cookbook, I should pick up a package!” Heaven forbid I actually have a grocery list on me that states the specific cut of meat I should be purchasing. Particularly when I’m ‘new’ to making ribs and, in general, very ignorant of cuts of meat. Therefore, it was only when I pulled the rib package out of the fridge that I saw the sticker “pork side ribs” when the recipe clearly stated “pork baby back ribs”. Oops. That was my first mistake.
Rather than consult the internet to query the difference between pork side ribs and pork baby back ribs, I did it the old-fashioned way: I asked my mother. She said that the side ribs were more fatty whereas back ribs are quite lean. And when I looked at the photo in the cookbook and looked back at my rib package, I knew that there was no way I’d be able to emulate what was created for the photo. Oh well, I might as well make them anyway, right? I have a tendency to take things too literally and when I stopped boiling the ribs at exactly 75 minutes, I noticed that they weren’t cooked yet. The fatty side ribs, I suppose, must take longer to cook. Lesson learned.
The sauce smelled delicious. I opted for the sidebar choice of broiling the ribs rather than barbecuing as, umm, I don’t touch the barbecue. My husband does (does that mean I’m not a feminist?). I’m not saying that I won’t touch the barbecue because I would. But later on in the year when it’s not winter and when I’m less of a novice at this whole cooking thing. Spring, perhaps? By summer I’ll be slinging a brand new infant around so I expect I will need to stay away from the barbecue. Time will tell – I’ll keep you posted.
Step 4, the last step, went quite well, thanks to advice from my mother. My oven is very hot and when I was basting the ribs they were darkening too fast. Mom advised me to lower the rack for the last 5 minutes of cooking. I pulled out the tray at 15 minutes and while the ribs still sizzled away on the counter, I added the rest of the sauce in big gloopy blobs.
The best part of the evening was eating the tasty ribs and listening to the muffled mouthfuls of praise from my father and my husband. They raved about them and helped themselves to more, over and over again. My father is a man of few words at the dinner table. If he speaks at all, it’s usually just to ask if there’s more. My husband claimed, “I admit that I haven’t had a lot of ribs in my life (have I mentioned that we’ve been together for over a dozen years?), but these are the best ribs I’ve ever had.” My mother enjoyed them as well, but thought that they were a bit on the spicy side – though that didn’t stop her from serving up another helping as well.
I would strongly recommend this dish to anyone who is looking to impress their dinner guests. Particularly if the dinner guests are male.