Stick to Your Ribs
Smoky, tangy, indulgent favorites for all.
Photos and recipes by Meghan Bassett
In Texas it’s always grilling season, and we’re taking advantage of it. In honor of our Texas issue, this month we’re headed back to basics with a classic BBQ spread. Our version of dry rub ribs pairs with a tangy vinegar slaw and some super comfortable baked mac and cheese that’ll leave you and your guests super satisfied—and perhaps ready for a little Texas nap by the time you’re done. All recipes serve 6.
Smoked Dry rub ribs
1 rack pork side ribs, baby back pork ribs, or beef ribs (approx. 2 pounds)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and smoked paprika. Rub the rack of ribs with the spice rub on all sides, coating evenly. Smoke ribs slowly over indirect heat for 2 to 2½ hours (at approximately 250 to 275 degrees).
Remove from grill, carefully wrap hot rack of ribs in foil, and return to the grill. Cook for another 2½ to 3 hours until the internal temperature for the ribs is between 190 and 205 degrees. Let rest 10 minutes off the heat before unwrapping and serving.
For the dressing:
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
For the slaw:
½ large head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 large carrots, peeled and grated in large pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup kosher salt
Whisk together ingredients for the dressing. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss ingredients for the slaw until combined. Pour dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar.
Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups warm milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10 ounce) block extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ teaspoon cayenne red pepper
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
¼ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish with butter or olive oil. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons butter. Once melted, whisk in flour until smooth. Cook for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute. Gradually whisk in warm milk and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, approximately 5 minutes. Whisk in salt, pepper, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and cayenne pepper. Once the cheese is melted, stir in cooked pasta.
Add the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.