Friday’s Flavors: Corned Pork Ribs

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

Recently, Natalia over at Traveling Hummingbirds wrote a post about a plate of delicious ribs she had while in Amsterdam. Being from the south, and married to a rib connoisseur, AND having mastered the art of making fall off the bone, fork tender, melt in your mouth ribs myself (I shared the recipe here way back in 2013), I had to know more, and she told me they were corned and smoked. Corned? Ribs?

I’d heard of corned beef, but this was new, and when I tried to find a recipe online, there was very little info about it. Naturally, I was intrigued. And I couldn’t help but feel challenged. So, even though I was positive I was going to ruin a perfectly good rack of ribs winging a corned rib recipe, I gave it a try anyways – and was delighted to discover I was wrong!

I’m not going to lie – there were MANY moments during this process that I thought we’d be ordering takeout at the eleventh hour. I didn’t even take pictures to document the preparation. The ribs weren’t very pretty. And unlike when I usually cook ribs, the smell didn’t make my mouth water. But the meat was succulent and delicious, which is all that matters!

Because most of the information I could find about brining to make corned meat was for briskets, and ribs are much thinner, I only brined the ribs for 48 hours.


1 rack of pork ribs

salt for brining (I used Morton’s coarse grain salt)

plastic Ziploc bags



Cut the slab of ribs into 2-4 pieces (I made 3). Place each piece in a separate plastic bag. (Tip: Flip the ends of the bag over to the outside to prevent spreading raw meat germs.)

Mix your brining solution. I used about 1/8 cup salt for every 2 cups of water.

Place enough brining solution in each bag to submerge the meat and seal tightly.

Put your Ziploc bags inside another plastic bag (like a grocery bag) to guard against disaster and refrigerate.

Allow the meat to soak for 48 hours.

Rinse ribs under cold water, then place in a large pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours.

And that’s it! We ate the entire rack that night, which we’ve never done before! If you try it, please let me know if you like it!

Check back next week for another Foodie Flavor!

Melt Off The Bone BBQ Ribs

I’m not going to deny that I’m a foodie. I use any and all reasons to celebrate. A great meal is a terrific reward for a job well done, a goal met, a Tuesday night……So if you climb a mountain Saturday, what do you do Sunday? Make ribs, of course. And with the Fourth of July coming up, I thought I’d share a little of my BBQ prowess – straight from the south.

BBQ is an art. You can’t rush art. The mistakes most people make are cooking at too high a temperature, for too short a time, with the sauce on. For an average sized rack of St. Louis style ribs, you’ll want to cook them 4.5 hours at 250 degrees, with an additional 20-30 minutes at 450 degrees after adding the sauce at the end. It may seem excessive, but there’s no substitute for meat that falls off the bone. It’s the way BBQ is supposed to be.

Sauce can be tricky – if it’s cooked too long, the taste loses the integrity of its flavor. That’s why you coat he ribs with a dry rub before you set them to cook for hours. I always use a brown sugar base with some cinnamon, paprika, and dry mustard powder. I don’t measure, I judge by taste. You want to make more than you think you’ll need – the meat will actually absorb a bit, so I rub it in, let it sit, rub some more, and so on until the rub stops getting damp. Then I flip and do the other side.

You cook the ribs bone side up, so the juice drips down on the meat. And a tight seal, either with tinfoil or a lid is very important (otherwise, you’ll ruin your pan and the ribs won’t be as good). Disposable tinfoil pans work best for easy cleanup. Place the ribs on a roasting rack in the pan, and make sure to get a tight seal with a tinfoil cover.

After 4.5 hours at 250, take the ribs out, turn the oven up to 450, and uncover. Tip the ribs so any excess juice runs off, coat the bone side with sauce, flip over, then coat the meat side generously. Cook another 20-30 minutes uncovered at 450, or pop on the grill.

As for sauce, any bottle of the cheap stuff will do after a little doctoring. I chop one sweet Vidalia onion, sauté in a bit of olive oil until translucent, then I add brown sugar and stir. After a minute I add apple cider vinegar and some Jack Daniels. I let this boil down for 10-15 minutes, stirring every minute or two, until it thickens into a nice syrup consistency. Then I add the bottle of BBQ sauce and mix well. Again, I don’t measure. Start with a little, add more as you feel necessary. Make it your own, to your own taste.

This sauce is a little sweet, but tends to please all. If you want to make a spicier sauce, say for dipping, simply add some cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, crushed red pepper, chili powder – even finely chopped jalapeno, serrano and habanero peppers.

So here it is – my day after mountain climbing rib recipe. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it went. Or if you have any suggestions of your own, feel free to share.


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