There’s something very dreary about the forests of Penn’s Woods when they become devoid of foliage. Maybe because we know it’ll be six or seven months before we see the trees fully leafed out again! This time of year, particularly when we return to Standard Time, the days are so much shorter and the nights correspondingly longer. Personally, the hardest part of the winter months for me is the over-abundance of gray. When coupled with the cloudy white skies, it becomes somewhat oppressive! If the sun shines on a particular day, even if the temperatures are lower than normal, my mood and outlook are substantially improved!
And even though the emphasis will be on turkeys, later this month, we know you have three other weeks in which you still need to plan meals for your family. It makes perfect sense then, for us to hold a November Meat Bonanza this week!
With the cooler temperatures we’re experiencing in the month of November, maybe you’re not that crazy about standing outside next to the grill while your cut of meat reaches its slow perfection. Spareribs, for instance, are one of those cuts of meat that can be cooked in the oven with truly mouth-watering results.
Spareribs, like any tough cut of meat, need to be cooked “low and slow” to become tender and juicy. Set the ribs on an oiled rack suspended over a baking sheet so that the drippings won’t foul your oven. Use your favorite dry rub, liberally over both sides of the ribs. Combining salt, pepper, garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, and brown sugar creates an excellent dry rub.
Bake at 300°F for 1½ to 2 hours. You can cook them uncovered or pour a cup of apple juice into the pan and cover the ribs with aluminum foil. Both methods work well but cooking under foil prevents dryness.
If you prefer a barbeque sauce to a dry rub, now is the time to add it. Slather it on liberally using a mopping brush. Or, if you’d like to recreate the taste and smell of grilled ribs, use a mixture of melted butter and liquid smoke. Then remove the foil and turn up the heat to 500°F during the last five or ten minutes of cooking to create a nice crust. If by chance you have any leftovers, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate within two hours of serving. To reheat: place the foil packet in a 350°F preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes.