Slow Cooked Pork Ribs with Cheerwine BBQ Sauce
Slow Cooked Pork Ribs with Cheer-Wine BBQ Sauce
Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée or 6 to 10 as an appetizer
3 Full Racks Pork Baby Back Ribs
1 Recipe Rub-see recipe below or use your favorite
1-16 Ounce Cheer-Wine Soft Drink
1 Recipe Cheer-Wine Barbeque Sauce-see recipe
Optional Wood Chinks or Chips soaked at least one hour
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Granulated Garlic
1/4 Cup Smoked Paprika
Combine until well incorporated
To prepare the ribs you will need:
Lay the ribs on your cutting board meat side down. You should have in front of you the rack of ribs with the bones curving upwards. Starting with the narrow end of the ribs on the left, insert the tip of the small knife at the bottom of the first bone under the membrane and run the blade up the bone all the way through the membrane to the top of the bone. The membrane is a plastic feeling milky looking material. Once you have made the vertical cut of the membrane take one piece of the paper towel, this is to help grip the membrane, grab the membrane at the point of the cut and pull to the opposite end of the rack. It should all come off in one piece, however if it does not just start where the membrane breaks and pull again.
You can skip this step if you would like but I have found that this one process gives the final product the texture and tenderness most of us are looking for in a great rack of ribs.
Once the membrane is removed add the Cheer-Wine to the roasting pan. Place the wire roasting rack in the bottom of the roasting pan, if you don’t have a rack cut up some potatoes, onions or garlic and place them in the bottom of the pan.
Place the ribs on the rack meat side down and begin to season and rub the ribs with the rub; flip and repeat the process. The preparation up to this point can be done a day ahead of time, this will allow the rub to penetrate the meat.
Once you have rubbed the ribs take two pieces of aluminum foil about eight inches longer than your roasting pan. Lay the two pieces on top of each other, starting at the bottom of the foil fold both pieces together upwards about one inch of the foil horizontally and again two more times to make one large piece of foil. Separate the two lose ends and you will have a large sheet of aluminum foil.
Take the foil and place on top of your roasting pan and start to crimp the foil to the pan. Once you have one side crimped put your hand under the foil and make a tent over your ribs. Try to keep the foil off the ribs as you crimp all the way around the roasting pan. Make sure to seal the roasting pan with the foil as well as possible to ensure that all the steam built up during this stage of the cooking process stays in the pan.
Directions for slow cooking your ribs:
Preheat oven or gas grill to 225 degrees then place the roasting pan with your rubbed rib racks in the grill/oven and set a timer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
If using a charcoal grill light charcoal on one side of the grill and let heat build up to at least 300 degrees then place your roasting rack on the grill. The temperature of your grill should rise to around 350 degrees; make sure that your pan isn’t directly over the coals. Let the temperature lower to around 225 degrees, set a timer for two and a half hours. Add a little charcoal at a time to keep the grill around 225 degrees.
This is the first stage of cooking your ribs is the most important. Since all ovens and grills cook differently you should check how the ribs are doing every hour. Just remove from the oven or grill and carefully lift up a corner of the foil tent. Let the steam come out before trying to look in, then grab the end of one of the bones and try to twist it slightly. Somewhere between the second and third hour, but sometime before, you will know the first stage of cooking is complete when the meat on the ribs has reduced in size and left the tips of each bone exposed. The first stage is complete when twisting the tip of an exposed bone it will start to turn but not pull out.
At the end of the three hours or whenever your ribs reach the tenderness you desire carefully remove the foil tent and place back in the oven or on the grill. If you are using the method of steaming in the oven and finishing on the grill you should at this point either start your gas grill or light your charcoal on one side of the grill. If using charcoal as soon as the flame goes out of your charcoal and the smoke starts place the roasting pan on the grill away from the coals and close the lid.
Tip: If using a gas grill but want some smoke:
There are a couple options if you want to add a little smokey flavor to your ribs. Purchase woods chips such as hickory or mesquite, soak them for about an hour, drain them and put them in a foil pouch poked with holes and place on the grill over the fire, or simply add to charcoal.
If you are running short of time and can’t use the charcoal grill for the full process you can make a smoke bomb by putting about five pieces of charcoal in doubled over foil or in a smoke box, place on the grill, light it and close the lid. When the flame goes out the charcoal will begin to smoke and give your gas grill the flavor of a charcoal.
Once you have removed the foil the ribs will start to change in texture, from soft and wet, to tender and firm. The longer the rubs go without the foil the more outside texture you will achieve. Let ribs cook uncovered for about thirty minutes then start to brush on bbq sauce. Brush your ribs with bbq sauce every fifteen minutes until a nice caramelized crust has formed.