Rich was interested to try Carolina-style barbecue after seeing an example on some teevee show or another. I had some nice pork ribs in the freezer, did a bit of research, and came up with a recipe to try.
A mustard and vinegar marinade makes for a fine twist on my more usual barbecue solution to pork ribs – but it was really the next day, using up the leftovers, that made this particular recipe a star. The ribs were nice as they were, but stellar on a toasted roll with a bit of cole slaw and a pickle.
•2 cups cider vinegar
•2 tbsp molasses
•2 tbsp yellow mustard
•2 tbsp honey mustard
•1/2 cup butter
•1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
•1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
•1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
•Country-style pork ribs
•Cooked, shredded rib meat
•Sherry peppers sauce
•Lightly toasted rolls
•Garlic dill pickle slices
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a medium pot over low heat and cook, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved.
Place the ribs in a gallon-sized zipper bag and drizzle with about half of the cooled sauce. Close the bag, place in a shallow bowl or other rimmed container (to catch any possible leaks), then stash in the fridge for a few hours or (better, as always) overnight; flipping the bag and squeezing the marinade around the ribs when you think to.
When ready to begin cooking, let the ribs rest on the counter while you heat the oven to 300º and prepare the aromatics.
Coarsely chop the veggies and parsley – feel free to add any others you have lying around the crisper drawer – and arrange on the bottom of a roasting pan.
Remove the ribs from the marinade (discard the marinade), arrange on top of the veggies in the pan, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add about a cup of the remaining sauce, and two cups of water to almost cover the ribs, then cover tightly with foil and bake for two hours, until the meat is wicked tender and, if your ribs had any bones in ’em to begin with, they are now falling off them.
You can go ahead and serve the ribs now, with more of the sauce, and they will be very good, especially with cauliflower gratin on the side – but they will be much, much more better if you let them rest overnight and do this next bit:
Shred or cut the cooked ribs into small pieces, putting any chunks of fat into a large pan set over medium-low heat.
Add a dash or four of the sherry peppers sauce (or any hot sauce, but I like this one because it is spicy and just a little sweet) cook, stirring, until the fat has melted and any remaining solid pieces and browned and crispity and oh! so tasty.
Add the shredded or sliced pork meat and a nice drizzle of the remaining barbecue sauce, then toss to combine and heat through.
Add a bit of mayonnaise and honey mustard to a lightly toasted roll, then top with the pork, another drizzle of the sauce, some cole slaw, and a good garlic dill pickle slice or two (don’t skip the pickles, they really add a lot to the finished sammich.
Settle back and enjoy your sammich.
Yeh, it took two days to make with the marinating and resting and shredding and fat rendering; but one bite will tell you that it was well worth the wait.