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Times Food Editor Russ Parsons has ribs in his head

June 13, 2011 |  9:24 am

Sunday found me in a Texas state of mind. And not just because of the Mavs (but as long as we’re on the subject, let’s hear a big shout-out for old guys!). Honestly, it was mostly the ribs on the barbecue that did the trick. That and some country music on the box, and I was ready to fly to Austin.

The ribs were from one of my favorite recipes. Couldn’t be simpler: Mix a bunch of spices in a bowl and sprinkle it over some cleaned rib racks (pulling that cellophane-like membrane from the underside of the ribs helps make them tender).

Smoke the ribs for a couple of hours over hickory. If you’ve got a nice smoker, use it; I don’t and my old Weber kettle works just fine –- I just stack the coals against one side and put the ribs on the other so they cook slowly. (You barbecue boys, look at the pink smoke ring on those ribs!)

They’re done when the meat is tender enough you can grab one of the rib bones from the center of the rack and wiggle it (Careful: Wiggle too hard and it might just pull out completely). Wrap them in aluminum foil and let them set for a half-hour or more to finish cooking. 

That’s all there is to it. You can brush them with a sauce if you want, but make sure you do it just at the very end because the sugars in the sauce will scorch really easily. I don’t usually use sauce at all; these ribs are spicy enough just as they are.

Put some Patsy Cline, Bob Wills, Waylon Jennings, Terry Allen and Jimmie Dale Gilmore on shuffle and you’re there. A bunch of graybeards hoisting trophies is just the icing on the cake.


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-- Russ Parsons

Photo credit: Russ Parsons