Easy Slow-Baked Ribs to Finish on the Grill (Paleo, AIP)
Photo by Cory Shubert
I’m not going to lie: that’s one of my very favorite photos of myself, baha. Not many things I love more than cooking a pile o’meat, for friends, with a tan, in a sundress.
The rib recipe pictured above is my old faithful standby. It’s technically not paleo and it’s not one bit AIP, so if you can handle brown sugar, seed spices and chiles, as well as commercial barbecue sauce, then have at it. It’s utterly foolproof, a breeze to pull off, and impressive looking if you make as many racks at one time as I do (people eat a LOT of them and the real reason: gimme cold leftover ribs for breakfast any day).
However, I’ve also included the AIP adaptation that I share in Project Vibrancy Meals meal plans. These have a sticky Asian twist on barbecue sauce and they’re decadently delicious too. This will give you a good peek at how I customize recipes in the meal plans to meet you where you’re at on your elimination and reintroduction journey.
The technique for both versions is the same – spice-rubbed, slow-baked until sexy tender, then finished with yummy sauce. You can finish them on a grill or run them under a broiler if you don’t have access to a grill.
Abigail & Arthur’s Kale Salad
Ribs are a July 4th classic in my family so I wanted to make sure to get this recipe to you ahead of time. Other great choices for rounding out the meal:
Pesto Pasta Salad (Gluten-Free)
Raw Tuscan Kale Salad (Gluten-Free)
Abigail & Arthur’s Kale Salad (Gluten-Free)
Grilled Watermelon Salad with Charred Beets & Cherry Tomatoes (Paleo/Primal)
Sweet & Tangy Broccoli Salad (Paleo/AIP-Friendly)
Blueberry Kuchen (Paleo/AIP)
Roasted Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet (Paleo/AIP)
For those of you who suspect that you have food sensitivities and want to discover specifically what they are, I’ve created a new free Facebook group called Food Reaction Freedom: Find Your Best Foods with Project Vibrancy.
Together we’ll sleuth and discover the nourishing foods that make you feel amazing while minimizing symptoms of food reactions like bloating, brain fog, skin problems, headaches, low energy, poor gut health, and autoimmune disease symptoms.
If you’re a long-time reader of Fresh Tart or you follow me on Instagram, you already know that it’s my passion to help you discover, easily create, and enjoy the foods that make you feel your best. I truly love it when YOU feel great! I’m excited to dive in with you in this group and I hope that you can join me. Click here to learn more and check out the video below where I go into detail about food sensitivities and elimination diets. (To watch on YouTube, click here.)
No-Fail Barbecue Pork Ribs
Note: If you’re making the AIP Asian version, garnish the ribs with sliced scallions if you like.
1 tablespoon each chipotle chili powder, ancho chili powder, smoked or sea salt, garlic powder, oregano, and brown sugar (for AIP, substitute 1 tablespoon each smoked or sea salt, garlic powder, oregano, dried ginger, and coconut or maple sugar)
4-5 pounds pork baby back ribs, trimmed (or purchased) in 2 racks
1 cup barbecue sauce (for AIP, see Asian Barbecue Sauce recipe below)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Arrange oven racks on the middle two racks of the oven. Set out 2 rimmed sheet pans (unless you can fit both racks of ribs comfortably on one pan).
In a small bowl, stir together the chili powders, salt, garlic, powder, oregano, and brown sugar (for AIP, stir together salt, garlic powder, oregano, dried ginger, coconut or maple sugar). Rub mixture generously into all sides of the ribs.
Fit rib racks into the two baking pans, trimming the racks if necessary so they lie in a snug, flat layer in each pan. Cover pans tightly with foil.
Bake ribs, covered, for 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours (usually around 3 hours), switching pans half-way through, or until meat is very tender and pulls easily away from the bone.
Let ribs rest, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover the ribs and pour any accumulated pan juices into a bowl and reserve. Skim fat from pan juices (I reserve it and use it for sautéing, frying, and roasting; refrigerate in a jar).
About 30 minutes before you plan to eat dinner, preheat grill (or broiler; arrange rack 6 or more inches from element; instructions below). When the grill is hot, use tongs (crosswise to prevent them from falling apart) to gently lay the rib racks on the grill, meaty side down. Cover and grill for 8-10 minutes or until nicely crispy.
Carefully turn the ribs and brush generously with barbecue sauce. Cover the grill for a couple of minutes or until barbecue sauce is caramelized (but not burned). Brush more sauce on the ribs and transfer them to a cutting board.
Slice ribs between the bones and serve with more sauce, if desired.
To broil the ribs, lay them meaty-side-up on baking sheet and broil until hot and starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY, broilers brown food very quickly. Brush ribs with sauce and broil again for 1-2 minutes or until hot and caramelized, again watching very carefully. Serve per above instructions.
Asian Barbecue Sauce (AIP)
Makes 1 cup
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and simmer for about 5 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.
Cool and transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate.