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Unbelievable Oven-Baked Ribs

Photograph by T. Mike Fletcher

1 slab baby back ribs
Dry rub (recipe below)
Barbecue sauce (recipe below), optional

Sprinkle dry rub on both sides of ribs. Press in. Bake at 275 degrees for 2½  hours. If using the barbecue sauce, baste the ribs with the sauce and bake for 30 minutes more. The ends of the rib bones will be exposed and the meat should be very, very tender. The ribs can be removed at this point and held for an hour before eating or cooled and refrigerated. When ready to eat, preheat broiler and place the ribs under the broiler for 5 minutes on each side to crisp.

DRY RUB FOR RIBS
3 tablespoons black pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard

This makes approximately ¾ cup.  The extra can be put in an airtight container and stored in a cool dark place with the other spices.

HONEYED CHIPOLTE BARBECUE SAUCE
(Makes three cups)
1 cup (8 ounces) catsup
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1½ tablespoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon chipotle in adobe sauce, very finely diced*
½ teaspoon adobe sauce*   

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly thickened. Cover the pan partially and stir frequently especially at the end as it thickens. Cool; store in a refrigerator. May be made a week ahead and refrigerated.
   
*Both are optional but more of either may be added for a hotter version or omitted completely if desired
 

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