With Ribfest around the corner and, since we’re in the middle of BBQ season, here’s what I’ve found works best for fall-off-the-bone ribs. I like the ribs I get at Costco, but you can buy a pair of full racks of ribs anywhere you prefer. One of the most important first steps when preparing ribs for cooking is to peel off the tough layer of fascia from the bone side of the ribs. It’s thin, translucent, and you need a good set of fingernails to get it started. Or, if you’re a massage therapist and have no fingernails, an accomplice or a pair of plyers will come in handy.
Once the fascia has been removed, pour:
2 cups water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
into the pressure cooker. Roll up both racks of ribs and stand them in the pressure cooker. Cook at the high pressure setting for, at most, 5 minutes from when it gets up to steam (that’s for the meaty ribs I get from Costco – you might need to shorten the time slightly if your ribs are mostly bone). As soon as the five minutes are up, release the steam as quickly as is safe. Now it’s time to take it outside to the BBQ.
If you’re using a gas BBQ, preheat it and then turn it to the lowest setting. Cook time on the BBQ is about 25 minutes, turning twice. Put both racks on the BBQ meat side down. After around 8 minutes, turn them over for the first time and coat with your favourite BBQ sauce (I like President’s Choice Gourmet, but suit yourself). Don’t use a brush – ladel on a good thick layer and spread it around with the ladel. At around 16 minutes, turn them over the second time and pour on another thick layer of BBQ sauce. At 25 minutes, turn off the BBQ, carefully remove the ribs and tent them with aluminum foil for around 10 minutes. Enjoy with your favourite BBQ side dishes – salads, nachos, whatever.
If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) a pressure cooker, you can always go with the tried and true oven roasting method followed by time on the BBQ where you add the sauce (and the flavour). Wrap the ribs in foil, and place them in the oven at 300 degrees F for 45 minutes. Precooking them helps intensify the flavor and naturally brings out the juices, ensuring your ribs will be anything but dry.