Just because it is winter does not mean that our taste for barbecue disappears, nor do the opportunities for entertaining. But who wants to man a smoker for 14 hours when it’s cold outside? (Yes, it does get cold in Georgia.)
Not long ago we had ten guests for dinner. Since barbecue is generally a crowd pleaser, I decided to resurrect an indoor recipe I found back in our South Africa days. (I will share that at the end.) For that evening, I wanted to create a relaxed backyard vibe but the problem was that we were eating in our formal dining room.
So, to set the tone, I used some fun striped tablecloths I had picked up at Ross a while back. Then I pulled out the oodles of bandanas I purchased a long time ago at Dollar Tree. I layered them on the cloth as table toppers and also used them as napkins tied in a single knot. Mason (Ball) jars always help make things feel down-home so I used quart-size for vases filled with ferns and camellias from the garden. Candlelight came from cute mason jar tea-light holders I got at Dollar Tree last year combined with Luminaria votive “candles”. The layers blended the desire for casual with the elegance of the room and made for a great atmosphere.
So back to the recipe….
It came from a magazine I have long forgotten about so I can’t give credit where it is due. Also, I forgot to take a photo of it when I made it so you will have to use your imagination. I have used this type of meat many times before, but I learned something new this go-round. According to the meat guy at Kroger, boneless country ribs are actually from the loin. But bone-in country ribs come from the butt (shoulder). The latter is fattier but also more tender. Guess which I think is best.
Here is the recipe:
Ribs With Blender Barbecue Sauce
1 t chili powder
½ C ketchup
5 lbs bone-in country ribs
1 16 oz. can apricots, drained
¼ C firmly packed brown sugar
2 t Worcestershire sauce
½ C white vinegar
Cook ribs in boiling water. (Remember “hog boilin’ time” from Fried Green Tomatoes?) This is a really important step that I just realized I forgot to do last time. There were consequences, as in tough meat. Drain and arrange in a large shallow pan.
Process apricots and remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. (If you don’t have canned apricots, just use apricot jam and omit the brown sugar.)
Pour half the mixture over the ribs, turning to coat. Cover ribs and chill 8 hours, turning occasionally. Remove ribs, discarding marinade. Place in lightly-greased roasting pan and bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, basting with reserved mixture.
So next time you are hankering’ for summer flavors, don’t worry about the weather because “it’s hog boiling’ time”!