My dad loves ribs. Unfortunately my dad was never successful at grilling ribs. (Sorry, Dad.) He attempted them once a year or so and would burn them to a crisp every.single.time. My husband also loves ribs, but growing up with crispy char-ribs, I had no interest in cooking them at home.
About 10 years ago, when we lived in another state, we found parboiled pre-seasoned ribs in our grocery store. We gave those a shot during one of my parents' visits once and everyone loved them. Once we moved to our current city and state, we couldn't find the parboiled ribs anymore. So a couple years ago we found some ribs on sale for a Really Good Deal at The Fresh Market and I told my husband if he wanted some, I'd find a recipe to make them.
As we learned with the pre-cooked ribs we had been buying, the trick is to parboil them before trying to cook them through on the grill. By parboiling the ribs for about an hour on the stove or about 3 hours in the crockpot, we ended up with moist, perfectly grilled, flavorful ribs that would make my dad weep.
On sale at $3.99 a pound and needing two to three pounds to satisfy even our small family, this is not every day food for us, but it does make an affordable special occasion meal.
Along with instructions on how to grill the ribs, I also found a homemade barbeque sauce recipe I fiddled with to make it to our liking. My son LOVES this stuff, and he won't touch anything he thinks had anything to do with a tomato. If he ever finds out the base is good ol' ketchup, I'll be in trouble.
Among the ingredients that were always in my mother's pantry was a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Over the years, I've decided I prefer white wine vinegar in most recipes where she used apple cider vinegar. However, this is one recipe I think she and I can agree white wine vinegar just wouldn't work. Where hot sauce is called for in this recipe I always, always use Tabasco Sauce. I'm very brand loyal when it comes to my hot sauce, but use your favorite kind. (They did not pay or otherwise compensate me for saying that, although I wish they would.)
Baby Back Barbeque Ribs
3 pounds pork back ribs
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
5-6 drops hot sauce
To parboil ribs:
Place ribs in large stock pot or crock pot and cover with water. If using stock pot, bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender - about one hour.
If using a crock pot, cook on low until tender - 3 to 4 hours.
To make sauce:
Stir next 6 ingredients together in saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently until thickened, about 30 minutes.
To grill ribs:
Drain ribs and place meaty side up on platter. Brush lightly with sauce.
Grill over hot coals about seven to ten minutes on each side. Brush ribs with sauce and grill three more minutes. Serve with extra sauce.