While it is still warm out during these last few days of summer (hello Autumn! You officially started today!), we had a family BBQ with some slow cooked hickory smoked ribs, and a delicious mango sauce. This recipe was adapted from a recipe found in one of my favorite cooking magazines that I subscribe to, Cuisine at Home. Of all the years I have subscribed to various magazines, this one has consistently been my favorite. By far it is the most useful, practical, and technique based, with a focus on good food and flavor rather than necessarily “easy” or “convenient”. I like this approach to cooking. I honestly do not mind putting time into making food if I know that time is well spent and in the end I will have created a delicious meal. It seems a bit of a counterintuitive paradigm for food preparation in today’s culture of speed and instant gratification, but I get my pleasure from not just the end result, but the act of making food. You know the phrase, “It’s not the destination but the journey that matters”? I feel that this is especially true in cooking. Yes, it is great to eat tasty food. But that tasty food is even more rewarding when it was made through age-old techniques that do not sacrifice flavor for time or convenience. I enjoy putting work into food, and I enjoy putting time into cooking.
And so does the rest of my family – here is a rare precious photo of my husband and my dad enjoying some bonding time by the grill:
The act of cooking can be as involved or not involved as you want it to be. In my family, we have an entire culture around food – food brings people together, and allows for great memories to be made – not just of the flavors tasted, but of the people it was shared with. So I bring you these delicious slow cooked mango BBQ ribs. May they bring you a great dinner with friends/family, and great memories.
Adapted from Cuisine at Home, August 2008
*Note – We tripled this recipe because we had 6 people over that night, and wanted plenty of leftovers – so plan on scaling this up!
3 lbs slab of ribs, trimmed, membrane removed
hickory for smoking ribs on the grill
1 tbs. chili powder
1 tbs. salt
1 tbs. pepper
3 tsp. dried ancho chiles
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
zest of 1 lime
Mango BBQ Sauce *(diabetic friendly if not a lot of sauce is used – count the carbs 1st!):
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ginger, minced
a little bit of apple juice (maybe 1/2 cup)
juice of 1 lime
3 tbs. your favorite mustard
1 tsp. chili powder
salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven or grill to 300F. Grind up dried ancho chiles in a mini food processor and pulse until a powder. Combine with the other rib rub ingredients. Rub liberally all over the ribs.
2. Lay ribs in a casserole dish and cover with foil. Roast 1.5 – 2 hrs until meat is coming away from the bone. We used a remote meat thermometer inside the grill to test the temp of the grill so that we could keep it controlled.
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, and ginger to a large pan and let soften. While they are softening, peel and slice up mangoes and puree in a food processor. Add apple juice to come to total liquid volume. You want about 2 cups total. Add to pan, increase heat until simmering, and then reduce to about half of the original volume. Add in the rest of the sauce ingredients, and stir.
4. On the grill, start your chips smoking. We have some great hickory pellets that go in a cast-aluminum smoker. This makes things very easy. Lather ribs with sauce, and close the grill lid, grilling until tender over indirect heat – i.e. not on the flames. You need to have a decent sized grill. Reserve some sauce for the meal so you can drizzle it on top of your yummy ribs. Eat!