Oven-Barbecued Ribs

This letter doesn’t have anything to do with your investments.  That is, unless it arouses your appe­tite for, say, pork-belly options?  (Just kidding; enjoy the letter!)

Oven-Barbecued Ribs

Prologue & Disclaimer

This recipe has been passed along to generation after generation of Schwartz’s.  As with all oral history, it may contain some historical inaccuracies.  The finished culinary product, however, is certain to endure throughout time.

The History

This second chapter takes place a few years after the Civil War.  (Anyone who missed Chapter I, which introduced our characters and recounted the invention of Southern Chicken-Fried Steak, should call in for a copy.)

We find our hero, Col. Beaureguard Symington Schwartz, CSA (retired) living in Richmond, Virginia, happily married to the very beautiful Camellia Jane deSaltine Schwartz and pre­par­ing for a visit from several of his fellow officers in the famous 9th Virginia Cavalry.  They were gathering for the dedication of the new stable at Miss Pankey’s Riding Academy (later to be merged into La Petite Academy, OTC symbol LPAI), where as mere boys most of them had learned to ride.

That late fall afternoon, B.S. (or “Beau,” as his wife insisted he be called) was gazing out a window, his view of Richmond distorted by the raindrops rolling down its glass, and cursing the weather, for it seemed certain to crimp his barbecue plans for the evening’s festivities!  The famous military tactician needed to come up with “Plan B,” and quickly.

As was his habit when deep in thought, Beau took several turns across the floor of his study, stumbling only once in the ruts worn in the soft pine flooring by years of his pacing.  He really must consider inventing some kind of protective covering, he mused, something that could be easily placed over wood floors and as easily replaced.  Perhaps he could get together with the duPont boy, who seemed a sharp young man.  But the further history of E.I. duPont de Nemours (NYSE symbol DD) must await another letter, for after another turn across the study, Beau realized that he could use the capacious ovens of Papa deSaltine’s bakery!

The Recipe (Each Side Serves 4)

For each side of pork ribs to be served, take

1¼ cup French’s Cattlemen’s Barbecue Sauce (Smoky Flavor) 1½ Tablespoons finely chopped green onion (about 3 stalks)
2 Tablespoons Knott’s or other fine Orange Marmalade ½ Tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (accept no substitutes!)

In a bowl, stir all ingredients well, to blend into a sauce.

Divide each side into two racks. Wash each rack and place it in an 8²×12²×1½² cooking dish. Sprinkle both surfaces of the meat with three dry seasonings: Adolph’s 100% Natural Tenderizer (unseasoned), Lawry’s Lemon Pepper Seasoning, and Lawry’s Garlic Salt.  Spoon the sauce onto the inside of each rack, then turn it meaty side up in its dish and spoon more sauce over it, being careful to cover all the meat so that it will have a uniform glaze.

Now, with his customary Schwartz brilliance, Beau had developed a method of determining whether the the bakery ovens had reached proper temperatures:  He had placed cookie sheets in each, and now observed how high a drop of water bounced when dropped onto one.  (But such details matter little to modern Schwartz’s, who simply preheat their ovens to 325° before setting their ribs inside for 1 hour and 15 minutes.)

When the ribs were done, Beau set them—still in their dishes—on the bakery counter and cut them apart with a sharp knife, ready to be served with mashed potatoes, lima beans, and several large napkins.

All Beau’s former comrades were delighted with the delicious outcome; and as the rain soaked the green lawns of Richmond, some complimented the Colonel on the inge­nuity of his preparation method.

Outdoor Method.  You can, of course, do your ribs over charcoal instead.  In that case, hold ¼ of the sauce in reserve to brush on after the first few times the ribs are turned.

The sauce will stay on the ribs better if they are first coated once and then refrigerated for about 6 hours prior to cooking.

Enjoy and pass along!

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