There are a handful of recipes from my childhood that I still crave now, in my young adulthood – Tomato Surprise in the rose garden with my neighbors, Basil Cream Chicken for dinner with my family, Mary Helen’s Pasta Salad at family gatherings with my cousins, Huevos Rancheros in my pajamas for Schuckmas breakfast – and my Daddio’s Ribs are one of those special meals. I don’t order ribs from restaurants anymore because I only ever want to eat my dad’s ribs. These things are ~fall off the bone~, party in your mouth magic. Anyone who’s been over on rib night can attest to that.
If it were up to me, I’d be in my backyard with my family, my dad serving up the ribs, my smile smeared with sauce, and my belly and heart full of happiness. But the reality is that I’m here in Alabama and will be for the foreseeable future. But I really miss my dad.
So with my recent Butcher Box order, I knew it was time to take nostalgia into my own hands and try to make them myself. These aren’t very difficult ribs to make, you guys. You seriously only need one thing: BBQ sauce. My dad uses Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce, and while that is what I grew up eating, the first ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup. AKA a big no-no. (Dad, you may have to adapt a bit, for your health.)
I googled “homemade sweet baby ray’s sauce” and guess whose recipe was the first result: Tieghan’s. When I told Tom I was going to make my own BBQ sauce he asked “Have you ever done that before?” and I replied “No, but Half Baked Harvest has a recipe for it.” and his response was “Oh, then we know it’ll be good.” And that’s the truth. Tieghan’s recipes are always a hit and I love how easily adaptable they are, since I usually follow recipes loosely and improvise with what’s inspiring me. For her BBQ Sauce recipe, though, I followed it to a T. It tasted just like childhood.
This recipe, quite obviously, is not my own; I used Half Baked Harvest’s BBQ sauce and my dad’s methods. But this meal is too good not to share. So without further ado: my Daddio’s Ribs.
Tieghan’s BBQ Sauce
Rack of ribs – I use baby back / loin back ribs
1 cup of water
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Heat you grill to low heat, about 300-350 degrees F. The internet told me that to test this temperature, you should be able to hold your hand an inch from the grill for 6 seconds. If you can’t, it’s too hot. Coat both sides of the ribs with sauce and place, meat side down, onto oiled grill. Leave in place until desired char marks appear, about 15-20 minutes. Flip onto bone side and char for another 10-15 minutes.
2. Remove from grill and place in Pyrex baking dish. Generously re-coat both sides of the ribs in BBQ sauce. Put meat side up to bake.
3. Add ~1 cup of water to the bottom of the Pyrex and cover the dish in tinfoil. Cook for about 1.5 hours, no more than 2 hours.
4. Remove dish from oven. Remove one rack at a time and cut each individual rib, placing them back into the Pyrex when finished. Spoon liquid over all the ribs.
And there ya have it: my Daddio’s ribs in 4 easy steps! My first go at these was also my first time using a grill, which was a bit intimidating for some reason. You have to know when to check the rack and when to leave it so that char marks can develop, so the suggested time may vary. Even though my grill’s knobs were set at the same temp, one side was a bit hotter than the other, so I flipped them halfway through. So this recipe does involve a bit of intuitive cooking – but then, most of the good ones do. Mine weren’t as fall-off-the-bone as his are, but I have plenty of time to perfect the method.
I hope you try out this recipe and make some truly delicious ribs to share with your friends or family while creating happy memories. Also, tie your hair back to eat these. It’s more enjoyable if you fully accept the delicious mess.
P.S. Thank you Tieghan for always creating such incredible recipes. They never fail me.