Nothing says game time like eating meat off the bone. Though ribs take a long time to cook, most of the cooking is unattended.
In this recipe, the ribs get rubbed with a dry seasoning mixture, then slowly roasted until tender. They are finished with an easy glaze, then roasted until sticky, gooey, sweet-hot-and-tangy.
When deciding how much to cook, plan for 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per person. If desired, you can rub the ribs with the dry rub in advance, then refrigerate until ready to cook.
Apricot Chili Baby Back Ribs
Start to finish: 2 to 2 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)
For the rub:
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dry mustard
For the ribs:
7 pounds baby back ribs
cup vegetable oil
For the glaze:
1 1/2 cup apricot jam
4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 325 F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and set a rack over each.
To assemble the rub, in small bowl mix together the garlic powder, thyme, paprika, sugar, salt, cayenne, black pepper and mustard. Set aside.
If the ribs still have the membrane on the back, remove it. Cut each rack into 3 pieces. Lightly rub the ribs all over first with the vegetable oil, then with the dry rub.
Arrange the ribs on the racks over the baking sheets. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until tender and the meat starts to pull back from the bone at the ends.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a blender, combine the jam, pepper flakes, salt, Dijon and vinegar. Purée until smooth.
When the ribs are done, remove them from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 375 F. Paint the glaze over the surface of the ribs. Return the ribs to the oven and bake until the ribs are sticky and starting to caramelize, about another 30 minutes.
Cut into individual ribs and serve.