At Home With Algonquin: Three-Day Ribs from Man with a Pan

When I volunteered to do our next “At Home with Algonquin” blog series post, I clearly had lost my mind. It’s July in the South. It’s 100 degrees outside, and if I’m lucky, by the time I get home from work and start cooking, it’s a mere 96 degrees. After a month of living off gazpacho, a variety of summer vegetable salads, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, what was I thinking?

With a resigned sigh, this past weekend I turned to one of our newest titles – Man with a Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers Who Cook for Their Families by John Donohue – for inspiration.

Did I want to make the milk-braised pork recipe from Josh Lomask? No, the thought of lots of milk curdling in the summertime, well, made my stomach curdle. The low country boil from Christopher Little had huge appeal – every excellent summer party and picnic I can remember had low country boil. But then I read the ingredients: 5 pounds of potatoes, 3 sixteen ounce packages of turkey sausage, 10 ears of corn, and 6 pounds of crawfish. Say what? Do I really want to deal with 5 pounds of potatoes and 6 pounds of crawfish? Absolutely not! That’s way too much work – and food – for one sole eater. And then I found the perfect summer recipe – the three day ribs from the Matt Greenberg essay.

Yes, I know what I said – three day ribs. For a girl who turned her back on 6 pounds of crawfish because it seemed like too much work, I was surprised by my immediate enthusiasm for this lengthy kitchen project. But anything that requires 3 days of preparation has to be worth my trouble, right? And who doesn’t love ribs – and grilling ribs over an open fire – in the summer? So over 3 days this past weekend, I prepared the most delicious, succulent, flavorful ribs I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. I cut this recipe in half for little ole me, the regular recipe serves 6-8 people.

Kelly Bowen, Publicity Manager

 

Three-Day Ribs from Matt Greenberg’s recipe in Man with a Pan

Ingredients:

6 pounds (2 slabs) of pork spareribs

2 cups plain yogurt

2 cups ketchup

2 cups Dr. Pepper (regular, not diet)

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup honey

¼ cup apple juice

½ cup soy sauce

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tsp. white pepper

¼ cup paprika

2 tbsp. salt

2 tbsp. brown sugar

Cayenne pepper and/or chili powder if you like your ribs spicy

1 cup wood chips, soaked in water for 1 hour

Drip pan

½ cup apple cider vinegar

 

Optional step: Remove the thin membrane that covers the bone side of the ribs. This can be done by cutting a slit into the membrane, then slowly working a butter knife underneath it. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to do this. This step is not 100% necessary but will fully integrate the marinades into the meat.

If it hasn’t been removed already, cut off the thick flap of meat that hangs over the bone side. (You may marinate and BBQ this piece separately, then later shred it and add to a pot of baked beans if so inclined.)

DAY 1:

Cover the rib slabs with yogurt and massage it into the meat. Place the ribs in a nonreactive container and refrigerate overnight. The yogurt acts as an excellent tenderizer.

 

DAY 2:

In a large bowl, whisk together the ketchup, Dr. Pepper, brown sugar, honey, apple juice, soy sauce, onion powder, and white pepper. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and wash the yogurt off the slabs with water. Clean the nonreactive container thoroughly.

Place the ribs back in the container, then cover them with the second marinade. Let the ribs marinate 12-24 hours.

 

DAY 3:

The morning of the day you intend to BBQ, remove the ribs from the refrigerator. Hold the slabs over the container and wipe the excess marinade (or let it drip) back into the container. You want only a thin film of the marinade left on the meat. Do not discard the marinade in the container. You’ll need it later.

Prepare the rub by combining the paprika, salt, and brown sugar in a small bowl. If you like your ribs spicy, add cayenne pepper and/or chili powder to taste. Massage the rub into the slabs so that they are fully coated. Wrap them in foil and put them back into the refrigerator till about 1 hour before you’re ready to cook.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling. Soak the wood chips for 1 hour. About 1 hour before you’re ready to cook, take the ribs from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.

Fire up the grill, place the drip pan in the middle, and throw the soaked wood chips on the coals (or, if you have a gas grill, place them in a metal box or aluminum foil pouch). Oil the metal grill and place it over the coals.

Place the rib slabs on the metal grill over the drip pan. While the ribs are cooking, put 2 cups of the Day 2 marinade and ½ cup of apple cider vinegar in a pot. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The marinade will be reduced to a thicker, saucier mixture. Open the BBQ lid and baste the rib slabs with the mixture, then cook the ribs for another 30-45 minutes.

Place the rib slabs on the metal grill over the drip pan. While the ribs are cooking, put 2 cups of the Day 2 marinade and ½ cup of apple cider vinegar in a pot. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The marinade will be reduced to a thicker, saucier mixture. Open the BBQ lid and baste the rib slabs with the mixture, then cook the ribs for another 30-45 minutes.

Remove the ribs from the grill and let them rest for roughly 10 minutes. Slice the slabs into individual ribs and serve.

 

Note: In my opinion, the ideal way to prepare ribs is with a smoker. If you do happen to own one, follow the above recipe, except smoke the ribs at 100 degrees Fahrenheit for a total of 3 ½ hours.

 


 

 

2 Comments On This Post:

July 19, 2011
3:49 pm
Shirley Drew says...

Looks yummy Kelly, I’m sure it was.

January 2, 2013
11:07 am
Mike says...

Followed this for some baby back ribs. Was awesome. Mom said they were the bet ribs she had ever had in her life. We smoked them in the end.

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