I’ll give you something that’ll stick to your ribs. Ribs!

Ahhh, summer is almost upon us, and it is finally time to scorch and skewer our meats. Time to have two salads with dinner. Time to eat outdoors and break out the iced tea. Time for beer, time for fun, and time for sun.

Living in a downtown Toronto condo of about 4.5 square feet, I am always relieved when the rooftop patio opens up for the summer and we can use the plethora of barbecues that the building provides for its residents. Though strategies must be developed to ensure you actually get to use one, the atmosphere is usually friendly enough around here that neighbours will share their grill space.

Cheesler, with his keen sense for bargain meats, spotted an enormous rack of pork ribs on sale at the local bobloblaws and quickly snatched it up. You see, regardless of what we intend to make for dinner on any given night, if ribs are on sale, ribs we shall eat.

 

I have come up with a relatively quick cooking method for pork back ribs, which I know some would say is blasphemy, but it works if you’re short on time. I cut the ribs into reasonable sizes, then steam roast them in a 350F oven for about an hour. Steam roasting is nothing more than putting a few inches of water in the bottom of your roasting pan and covering the meat with aluminum foil while it cooks. When they come out, they are juicy and tender and not dried out at all. And if you’re watching your waistline, a large portion of the fat is rendered off.

I then slather them with barbeque sauce. Sometimes its my own home-made, sometimes its good ol’ Diana Sauce, which seems to be the favourite of late. Readers, (especially those who may reside in the southern half of the US, the undisputed barbecue sauce region of the world) what are your favourite bottled sauces?

I had cooked up a batch of home-made baked beans a few days before, in the slow cooker. It’s the first time I haven’t eaten them out of a can, and let me tell you, it’s definitely worth it. Mine had chunks of smoked bacon, mustard, molasses and smoked paprika. So homey and satisfying.

I had a few cobs of corn (I know, it’s early in the season – I too am mystified from whence the grocery store obtained them), which I slathered in ancho chilli butter (which I had made by…well, combining ancho chilli powder and butter), wrapped in aluminum foil and par baked for about 20 mins with the ribs in the oven, then finished them on the grill. Bobby Flay would be proud.

Finally, a potato salad with green onions and avocado, with a yogourt/paprika dressing.

It was a perfect all-American meal, all the way up here in the great white north of Canada.

Next time, I think I will draw out the process – I’ve had my eye on a recipe that has the ribs marinating in root beer for 3 days!? It sounds too enticing and weird to pass up.

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