The Ribs.

When I moved to Alberta, there were a few stereotypes that I hoped to actually participate in. One of those was eating massive amounts of meat, carnage-style. I won’t disclose the other stereotypes at this time. I came across a rib recipe that has now been capitalized in my life as The Ribs. When people come to visit (as my mate’s mother did this weekend), it was known that I would be making my Ribs.

I have given this recipe to some friends along the way, who have all had the same success with these bad boys. The recipe is more along the lines of a Kansas-style BBQ, with a sauce that has sweetness to save from the spice. I don’t find these overly spicy — just warming in your mouth…enough for some interest.

The greatness of this combination is that it fits to any protein and can be used solely as a rub or with the sauce. I highly recommend with the sauce. But then, I love sauce and may be biased. At the very least, make it and decide for yourself.

I prefer using pork side ribs and this weekend had the pleasure of using a local Berkshire pork from Sunshine Organic Farms here in Alberta. Not kidding – the meat is so beautifully lean, dark and flavourful…it was the entire topic of the dinner conversation. (

The Ribs
Adapted sparingly from Martha Stewart, the Queen

Serves “4”. But don’t be surprised if you eat them all yourself.

2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper
1 rack (5 lbs.) pork ribs, trimmed of excess fat, rinsed, and patted dry
1 can (14 oz.) tomato puree, or crushed unspiced tomatoes
1/2 c. honey (although after tasting I usually up this a bit to make it sweeter and have more caramelization on the BBQ)
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced (again, usually upped if it’s for us)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine spices with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture for the sauce. Rub both sides of ribs with remaining mixture.

Place ribs, fatty side up, on a rimmed baking sheet, and cover tightly with foil; bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. (There will be hot liquid in baking sheet when removed from oven.)

Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small saucepan, combine tomato purée, honey, Worcestershire, garlic, reserved spice mixture, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.

Heat grill to medium. Cut ribs into four equal parts. Brush ribs generously with barbecue sauce; grill until charred in spots, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with remaining sauce.

Devour. Thank me and Martha.

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