“I had a barbeque stain on my white t-shirt, you were killin’ me in that mini-skirt”
– Tim McGraw
Father’s Day is just around the corner and Capital Ribfest is about to take over Ottawa, so why not take a look at one of the things dads love most: ribs. Growing up in Montreal, ribs were often an overlooked side-dish at “barbecue” restaurants, which typically consisted of boring rotisserie-style chicken. It wasn’t until later in life that I experienced true barbecue flavour. Naturally, I had to recreate it at home.
I discovered that while making ribs wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, it wasn’t as all that complicated either, and completely doable for a home cook.
The first thing you need to do is choose your ideal cut. Will you go with beef or pork? Will you pick side or back? Personally, I usually choose pork back ribs as I find they’re meatier and more flavourful.
Preparing the ribs is the most important part. First you need to trim off the excess fat. Some fat is good — that’s where the flavour is — but too much fat and your ribs suddenly become pork bubblegum. Nobody wants that.
You also want to remove the thin tissue on the back of the ribs. A simple slice along the bones and you can peel back the tissue which feels like sausage casing and should come off with one pull.
The ribs must then be cooked in brine for approximately one hour. This will soften the ribs as well as boil them, and allow for a slow roast and seasoning. Your brine can consist of all of your favorite herbs and spices, as long as you keep a good balance between savoury and sweet.
But what about the actual barbecue sauce?
Bottled sauce is barely passable and homemade flavour is the way to go. I already had HoneyBun Garlic sauce in my arsenal that had the thumbs up from my wife, but I was looking for something a little more savoury this time around.
Flash forward years later and I was having a chat with celebrity blogger and fellow Life in Pleasantville contributor, Kelli Catana about barbecue sauce. She was looking for a simple and easy recipe she could make. I mentioned if she wanted the true experience, she would need to get herself a jean skirt and make sure there was a barbecue stain on [her] white t-shirt. while she rode around in a truck, referencing the Tim McGraw song Something Like That.
“I’m writing all this down.” she replied. (I have this feeling she wasn’t actually writing anything down.)
From that conversation CountryDaisy Barbecue Sauce was born. A simple and easy sauce recipe that can be made in advance or while the ribs are being prepped. It gets its name from Kelli’s Twitter handle and website name and has the perfect barbecue sounding name, which is imperative to any good BBQ sauce.
The secret to the CountryDaisy ribs is the way they are cooked as much as the sauce itself. While the ribs are in the brine, prepare the sauce using simple ingredients. (See the recipe below.) Once the sauce is cooked, keep it warm, and slather it on the ribs before putting them in the oven to bake .
Yes, it’s a three-step cooking process, but the results are worth it and if you manage your time well, you’ll be able to fill the ‘waiting-for-ribs’ moments with other things. As the ribs bake in your oven for approximately 20 minutes at 300F, sauce them every so often. Flip the ribs to make sure each side gets extra sauce.
Once the oven step is complete, transfer the ribs to the grill for that gooey goodness, sticky, and sweet look and feel that makes ribs the favourite dish at any barbecue. If it’s the dead of winter or you’re not already grilling something, you can skip the grilling and avoid messing up the barbecue (they can be enjoyed right out of the oven), but the final step adds a lot of flavour and lends itself to achieving the ‘fall-off-the-bone’ meatiness.
CountryDaisy BBQ Sauce
- 2 tbsp Butter
- ½ cup Molasses
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tbsp Chocolate dessert sauce
- ½ cup Ketchup
- ½ cup Smooth Dijon Mustard
- ½ cup Dr. Pepper soda syrup or Root Beer syrup
- ¼ cup Brown sugar
- ¼ cup White Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
Start by melting the butter in a medium size saucepot on MEDIUM heat
Add the each ingredient, one at a time
Stir with a whisk, on medium heat until sauce is hot
Slather ribs and chicken while meat is cooking with warm sauce using either a barbeque brush or the back of a large spoon.
Double the recipe when cooking more meat
This sauce can be made well in advance and kept in the fridge, but it has no preservatives so either freeze it or use it within five days.