One of my favorite parts of fall is tailgating on Saturday mornings. An excuse to get together with family and friends that, some, we don't get to see over the winter and summer months. It's a big reunion with tons of good food and drinks. This is not a hot dogs and beer tailgate. We fancy.
I don't know who started it but we'll typically have a theme. For example, the "Baked Potato Bar" tends to be a fan favorite. We have all the toppings: lox, capers, goat cheese, cheddar cheese, cheese sauce, chili, pulled pork, chives, wafer-thin red onions, tomatoes...the works. Another of my favorite is the "Greek" theme, with flaming cheese, baklava, gyros and spanakopita. And always there is a slew of homemade cookies, possibly locally baked donuts and the infamous "Bubby Mary." Bubby is my best friend's grandmother. I'm not sure exactly how old she is, maybe 80-something? She is spry, a die-hard University of Michigan fan and makes a mean Bloody Mary. There is always decent wine and beer and we even have bottles of water because these are tailgaters that plan ahead. A far cry from college tailgates where you're actually thirsty / slightly dehydrated and the only option is potato chips and natty ice.
Although I love to bundle up and mingle with people outside, Andy and I love the away games where we get to sleep in a bit, throw something delicious into the oven and get some work done around the house before tucking in to watch the game.
Enter, Baby Back Ribs.
We first made these a few weeks ago, to have for our One Year Anniversary dinner at home while watching Michigan shut out Maryland (that's romance!). I found the inspiration behind this Dry Spice Rub just googling how to make baby back ribs since I've never made them before. I didn't really follow the recipe I found but got a general idea and used the spices we have at home and this magic happened...
So it is Monday. Again. I hope this recipe gives you some motivation and excitement to carry through to your next grocery shopping trip. Pick up a couple of pounds of ribs and plan to make these babies this weekend. They'll slowly get tender in the oven while you make the last tweaks to your costume or hand out Halloween candy. We to pair these with my Kale Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette since pomegranates are available again, I'm hardly a straight meat and potatoes kind of girl, and I can't say no to some delicious roughage ;)
After a few hours this....
Turns into this....whoa. I told you, it's magical.
Juicy, sticky, sweet, spicy, yaaaass!
Dry Spice Rub for Baby Back Ribs
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
1/3 c white sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
2 - 3 tsp cayenne pepper
2 - 3 tsp chipotle pepper
3 large spoonfuls of dijon mustard
2 - 3 lbs of Baby Back Ribs
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. In a large glass baking dish, cut a sheet of tin foil for each rack.
In a medium sized bowl, add the first six ingredients together, whisking until mixed evenly. Place your rib(s) onto the sheet(s) of tin foil, and plop a spoonful or two dijon mustard on one side. Now it is time to get messy. So roll up your sleeves, make sure your hands are clean, and smear the mustard along both sides of the ribs. Next evenly top each rack with the spice rub and use your hand to coat the ribs evenly on both sides. It doesn't have to be perfect! Just make sure the rub is mostly on the top of the ribs and not so much on the tin foil.
Put your ribs on the foil, in the baking dish, into the oven for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, remove the dish from the oven and drizzle with your favorite BBQ sauce. We use Original Sweet Baby Ray's, nothing fancy, but totally delicious! Bump your oven up to 350 degrees F and bake for another 20 mins.
Meanwhile, prepare any other sides you'll serve with the ribs and get ready to get messy and happy.
You, your love, sweet and spicy ribs, sticky fingers and football. Sounds like a perfect date to me!