Oh-So-Tender Baby Back Ribs with Mâche and Avocado Salad

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ribs

These ribs are one of the first recipes I wrote myself and are still one of my favorite summer-time foods.  They slow-steam for hours in the oven and then get a quick finish on the grill.  Mâche and avocado with vinaigrette is the perfect crisp complement to the smoky ribs. 

Oh-So-Tender Baby Backs Ribs

You will need:

  • 2 racks baby back pork ribs
  • Your favorite spice rub
  • 3/4 can dark beer (like Guinness)
  • 1 jar of your favorite barbeque sauce
  • Water
  • Foil
  • Broiler pan
  • 2 oz. liquid smoke (optional) *

* I used to use liquid smoke, but I am not as keen these days to use artificial flavors.  It does make the house smell wonderful though!

Put it together:

  • In bottom of broiler pan add beer, liquid smoke (optional) and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan well, but not so much it spills out. 
  • Add top grate to pan and place ribs on top.
  • Rub both sides of ribs generously with rub.
  • Cover entire pan tightly with foil so that no steam will escape during cooking.
  • Bake at 225 to 250 degrees F. for 6 hours (250 degrees if you like the meat falling off the bone like I do).
  • Remove foil being super careful not to burn yourself with the steam or spill the water.
  • Baste ribs with barbecue sauce.     
  • To finish, cook on a hot grill for 5 to 10 minutes each side or, if you don’t have a grill, simply bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes on the middle rack of the oven in a clean pan.   

Mâche and Avocado Salad

You will need:

  • Mâche (about an ounce per person)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado per person
  • 1/4 cup flavored vinaigrette (raspberry, pear, etc.)
  • 1/2  cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • any fresh herbs you have on hand, finely minced

Put it together:

  • Quarter avocados and thinly slice lengthwise.  Fan two quarters of avocado on each guest’s plate. 
  • Wash and dry mâche.  Top each portion of avocado with a handful of mâche.
  • Put vinegar, herbs, and a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a jar with tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously.  When that oil is incorporated, add in a couple more tablespoons and shake, continuing until all oil is incorporated. 
  • Add a little salt and pepper to vinaigrette to taste.
  • Drizzle a small amount of vinegarette on each serving of salad. 
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