" Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The" Rock-a-Bye-Baby Back Ribs

So you're nervous about leaving the baby home with a sitter? No problem, you can eat in tonight with these hearty and succulent baby back ribs during Teh Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

You will need:

The Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons each: granulated sugar, brown sugar, onion salt, garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons each: paprika, chili powder, ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon each: finely grated lemon peel, ground white pepper, ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice, ground thyme, ground ginger, cayenne pepper

The Ribs:

  • 6-8 lbs. baby back ribs, (they usually weigh a little over 1-pound per slab)
  • 1/2 cup mustard, combined with 1/4 cup each: apple cider, peanut oil

The Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup each: apple cider vinegar, apple cider, lemon juice
  • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • 2-3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and black pepper to taste
The Smoke:
  • 3 cups of hickory chips, soaked in water and wrapped in aluminum foil
  • The number of an extremely thorough background investigation agency.


1. Combine all of the rub ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together. Sift in batches to blend thoroughly and store in an airtight container until use.

2. Rinse the ribs and remove the thin membrane running along the bone. This is best achieved by sliding the tip of your knife under the membrane and gently pulling up.

3. Spread the ribs with mustard-cider mixture to coat lightly and sprinkle generously with dry rub. This actually works a little better than rubbing. (Maybe it should be called a dry sprinkle.) Wrap ribs with plastic or transfer to a plastic bag and refrigerate anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours. A short marinade is still better than nothing. Remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes prior to cooking.

4. Combine the peanut oil, grated onion, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. When the onion becomes translucent, whisk in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper as needed and set aside.

5. While the sauce cooks, fire up the "Q". If you are using a gas grill, light one side only. When the coals are ready, push them to one side of the barbecue and place the foil wrapped hickory chips either directly on top of the coals or over the gas grill's lava rocks.

6. Place the ribs on the grill away from the heat, bone-side down. Cook for 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours, turning every 30 minutes. If your coals begin to burn out before the ribs are finished cooking, add 10-15 more briquettes or wrap with foil and transfer to a 250?F oven. The ribs are done when a fork inserted between the ribs slides in easily and the bones begin to loosen up nicely. Wrap with foil and allow to rest 20 minutes before serving.

7. In a hurry? The barbecuing time can be shortened to about 45 minutes by parboiling the ribs before applying the rub. Simply cover with cold water and bring to a low simmer, NOT A BOIL, and cook 30 minutes. Drain, cool, and proceed from step 3. Some of the true barbecue flavor will undoubtedly be sacrificed, but with the time you save you can get a head start on all that housework and possibly avoid having to hire a nanny who will then most likely try to kill you, flounce around the house half-naked in hopes of seducing your spouse, try to steal your baby, and worst of all ? probably make mediocre microwave barbecued ribs with yucky bottled sauce. (But then again, they would do the dishes...)

Serves four to six

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