storm food — Arkansas ribs

Arkansas BBQ ribs

Shortly after Hurricane Sandy it was tough to find fresh food in my local markets. We’ve got plenty of stores in my area, but trucks weren’t getting in or out, and so the meat, produce and dairy aisles were mostly empty after so many markets around here lost power during the storm. Restaurants were closed too, due to damage and loss of power, and so I was cooking at home a lot (even when we lost power, I could light the stovetop with a match because we still had gas), but I had to make due with what we could find. The local Target was one of the first stores to get power back, and though they were pretty low on inventory for a few days, they did have ribs. What a funny thing for them to have in stock, right? I don’t make ribs very often, but I bought a couple of large racks anyway, and then searched my cookbooks for recipes to try. This recipe for Arkansas Black Barbecued Back Ribs comes from Pig: King of the Southern Table by James Villas

Arkansas BBQ ribs

The recipe was interesting — you start by roasting the ribs for 1 1/2 hours in just lemon juice, salt and pepper, and they turn out looking like this.

Arkansas BBQ ribs

Then you toss the ribs with a sauce you’ve simmered down made with vinegar, water, ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire, and chili powder, all ingredients you probably have on hand most of the time.

Arkansas BBQ ribs

After another 20 minutes of roasting, they turn out like this, and the kitchen smells really good.

Arkansas BBQ ribs

I’m not a ribs aficionado, but I have to say these were amazing. I couldn’t believe how tender they were. Of course I had to make up a side dish which I’ll be happy to tell you about in another post, but here is a teaser shot. Have I mentioned I love Southern cooking?

12 thoughts on “storm food — Arkansas ribs

  1. I love ribs, they’re so easy to enjoy, probably because being on the bone gives them so much flavour already. I’ve never taken this long to make them though. The method is really intriguing though, I really have to try it!
    I’ll be checking out my local supermarket for next week’s grocery run – ribs don’t always come so meaty here, I never buy boney ribs lol!Thanksfor sharing – consider this great recipe pinned 🙂

          1. Ha! I’m definitely no expert, but I guess I have always enjoyed the sticky, caramelised, slighty crispy-edged and ever so slightly chewy (not as much as jerky though!) kind of texture. But I’m excited to try fall off the bone tender 🙂

  2. i am not big on ribs myself, but they look (& sound) amazing!
    i guess the initial “lemon juice” cooking makes a big difference? 😉

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