Friday, February 12, 2016

baby back ribs & baked beans

Baby Back Ribs
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Bon Appétit

Serves 4

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika (sweet, hot or smoked, whichever variety you prefer)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt (Diamond brand, which is very lightweight; for most others, use 1 1/4 tablespoons)
Chipotle powder or ground red pepper (cayenne) to taste
As many cranks of freshly ground black pepper as your arm is in for

4 pounds baby back pork ribs (8 racks)         
Store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce, for basting and serving

Tools: If you can find it, a wide roll of heavy-duty foil makes the racks much easier to wrap up. You’ll also want a large rack (cooking cooling sheets, so long as they’re metal and thus ovensafe, are just fine) and a large baking sheet per rack of ribs. 

Preheat oven to 275°.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the spices and seasonings. On a piece of foil large enough to wrap around your ribs, place rack of ribs, meatier side up. Sprinkle spice rub over rack, patting it on generously, including the sides. Carefully — it can help have a second person hold the foil down while you lift the rack — flip the rack of ribs back onto the foil so that they’re now meatier side down. Pat on more rub. (You will most likely have excess rub.) Tightly fold the foil to seal packets. Set a metal rack over a baking sheet and place foil-wrapped ribs on top. 

Bake ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about 2.5 hours for baby backs and 3+ hours for spareribs. Carefully unwrap ribs; pour off any juices. Let ribs cool completely. [DO AHEAD: Ribs can be baked up to 3 days ahead (the flavor will be more developed, and the cold ribs will hold together better on the grill as they heat through. Rewrap ribs in foil and chill.]

Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Grill ribs, basting with barbecue sauce and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut between ribs to separate. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce.

Hot And Smoky Baked Beans
Adapted from Bon Appétit

6 bacon slices (We only used a few slices)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion                 
1 1/4 cups purchased barbecue sauce
3/4 cup dark beer
1/4 cup light molasses
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 to 6 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chilies (We used closer to 2 tsp.)
6 15- to 16-ounce cans Great Northern beans, drained
Chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain. Transfer 2 1/2 tablespoons bacon drippings from skillet to large bowl. Finely chop bacon; add to bowl. Add onion and next 7 ingredients to bowl and whisk to blend. Whisk in 4 to 6 teaspoons chipotle chilies, depending on spiciness desired. Stir in beans.

Transfer bean mixture to 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Bake uncovered until liquid bubbles and thickens slightly, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.