Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Baby-Back Ribs

Baby-back ribs. The mere mention of these delectable treats is enough to get many a mouth to water as thoughts of slow-cooked, succulent pork ribs dance about.

Baby-back ribs are a cut of pork ribs from the loin. They are actually named “baby-back” ribs because of their size – you aren’t eating baby Piglet. Depending on the butcher, the ribs will be cut on a rack of about 10-13 ribs, running from the shorter 3-inch ribs to the longer 6-inch bone at the other end.

via Full Custom Gospel BBQ

The preparation of baby-back ribs varies by region and is debated with a ferocity nearing that normally reserved for political or religious debate. The ribs can be slow-cooked, barbecued, smoked, braised, or even boiled, and you’ll find a cult-like following for each. In the US there tends to be great debate between Chicago style baby-backs and St. Louis style baby-back ribs.

At 320 Main, our baby-back ribs fall into the St. Louis side of the debate. The ribs are slow-cooked before being covered in our homemade barbecue sauce. When I inquired with the kitchen staff about how we make our sauce for the ribs I was rebuffed with “it’s a secret.” After much cajoling I was able to determine that the sauce, created by our head Chef James Wilschke, is concocted using more than 50 ingredients, including curry powder to give the sauce a rich, unique taste.

We serve the ribs over a bed of creamed corn that has been spiked with spices like smoked paprika and a side of lightly sautéed broccolini. Add a smoky and spicy cocktail like the Hu Hu Hala-Kahiki, made with tequila, mescal, and our homemade pineapple shrubb, and you’ve got a combination that’s guaranteed to have you coming back for more.

Matt “RumDood” Robold is a bartender at 320 Main and, in his spare runs RumDood.com, where he writes about rum, rum cocktails, and rum history.

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