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