Sweet & Tangy Ribs

Super Easy Sweet & Tangy Pork Ribs via Brittany's PantryI always love the days leading up to a holiday weekend.  Most people have some extra time off and are happy and excited and full of anticipation for special plans.  My house is no exception and when it comes to the fourth of July, we get especially giddy!  Our town spends three days (this year it is four because the fourth is on a Monday) celebrating with various activities.  Food, two parades, vendors, outdoor movies, concerts, games, pool time, shopping, kids activities, and two nights of fireworks, and that is just the tip of the iceberg!  If you take into account the cooking and BBQs with friends, it makes for an extremely busy, but enjoyable, weekend.

Call me crazy, but I also love all the magazines this month.  The internet, newspapers, and television are all full of ways to celebrate Independence Day, but the food magazines and blogs are brimming with recipes, ideas and pictures to make us drool!  I just love it!  I have spent the last few days wading through endless recipes for potato salads, burgers, fried chicken, bars, popsicles, and hot dog toppings.  The cherry pie on the cover of Family Circle makes me roll my eyes and groan every time I pass my coffee table!  Must.  Eat.  Cherry.  Pie.

So the basic gist of all this is that I am no exception.  I want to make sure you have some good food ideas for this weekend and what better food for fourth of July than RIBS!  Heck!  Who cares about the holiday!  I just want to eat grilled pork!  All smokey and sticky and sweet and tangy and…*slap*!  Huh?  What?  OK. (slobber slobber)  Back to the recipe.

Sweet & Tangy Ribs
The rub is my own concoction but the BBQ sauce is adapted from BHG.  When I want something homemade and quick but super tasty, this sauce is perfect.  It is so much easier (and faster!) than cooking down onions and crushed tomatoes and the gazillion other ingredients that go into a barbecue sauce.  It is great on grilled chicken too, but sticky and tangy and messy and absolutely outstanding on ribs!

3 full racks of pork ribs, either baby back or st louis style

Dry Rub:
2 T brown sugar
1 T kosher salt
1 T smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Barbecue Sauce:
1-12 oz jar chili sauce
1-12 oz jar grape jelly
2 T yellow mustard
2 T Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

Mix all dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl.  Sprinkle ribs evenly on both sides.  If possible, let sit overnight in the fridge.  Bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, checking them at 2 1/2 for doneness.  The ribs should be tender but not totally falling apart.  *Can be made a day ahead up to this point.  Cool and refrigerate if desired then continue with the recipe.*  After baking the ribs, brush with barbecue sauce and grill over medium high heat, just to add a little color to the ribs and caramelize the sauce.  Cut into serving pieces, passing the leftover sauce on the side.

For the barbecue sauce, combine the chili sauce and jelly in a small saucepan over medium heat until the jelly melts, whisking until it is smooth.  Whisk in the rest of the ingredients and heat to a slow bubble.  Taste and cool.  Will keep chilled for a week or so.