When I say these ribs are “fall off the bone” good, I mean it. My kitchen looked like a voodoo den today. There were bones everywhere. Without a scrap of meat on them. It looked like some phantom from Scooby Doo had been through and left nothing in its wake but bones.
These ribs cook low and slow in the oven on a bed of on thick onion slices to keep them out of the pan juices (so they roast instead of boil). Then you finish them off with barbeque sauce and you’re ready to chow down.
A friend of mine popped over when I was making these one day and I was somewhat apologetic about cooking them in the oven instead of on the grill. Because, I mean, we’re in the South so we’re all supposed to be grill masters, right?
[Cut to scene of me standing next to a giant grilling contraption (prolly made out of steel barrels on wheels with a trailer hitch) with a stack of hickory chopped and on the ready behind me with a Bud Light in one hand and a barbeque baster the size of a janitor’s mop in the other]
He surprised me by saying he used to work at one of the big rib restaurants in town and the way I was cooking them was almost exactly the way they cooked them at the restaurant. They cooked them low and slow in the oven and only popped them on the grill when it was time to sauce them.
I love it when I figure this stuff out on my own. And it sure beats standing out in the heat, sweating my gonads off, swatting mosquitos for hours.
Fall-Off-The-Bone Baby Back Ribs
2 racks baby back ribs (or back ribs)
3-4 onions, peeled
2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)
1/2 cup beer or water (approximately)
Season both sides of ribs liberally with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika; set aside.
Slice onions into 1/2" rings and place them in the bottom of a large roasting pan (or two smaller ones – use whatever you need so that the ribs can cook in a single layer). This is to create a layer that will keep the ribs elevated so that they’re never sitting in liquid.
Pour just enough beer into the pan to cover the bottom. I used a hard apple cider – use whatever you have, the beer just brings an aromatic element to the recipe. Add liquid smoke to the beer.
Arrange rib racks in a single layer on top of onion slices. Cover pan tightly with two layers of aluminum foil (if your pan has a lid, cover with a layer of aluminum foil and the lid). Bake at 300 degrees for 4 hours. Remove ribs from oven and uncover.
Drain pan juices from pan (either with a turkey baster or by carefully tipping the pan). Baste ribs with barbeque sauce and return to oven. Continue baking ribs, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove ribs from oven, tent with foil and rest for 15 minutes before serving.