You will need:
1 – full rack pork back ribs
1 – 18 oz bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
2 – lbs redskin potatoes
1.5 – cups mayo or salad dressing
1 – tablespoon white vinegar
1 – tablespoon dijon mustard
1 – teaspoon salt
1 – teaspoon pepper
2 – medium celery stalks chopped (about 1 cup)
1 – large onion chopped (about 3/4 cup)
The Day Before
This is where it all starts. All of the best tailgate recipes start at home, the day before. Just as with most things in life, the best tasting menu is probably the best planned menu.
Now, with that said and out of the way, let’s get to those ribs. Whenever you’re cooking meat, to get a great flavor, it takes time. Now grab that rack of ribs, and cut the rack in half. Just run a sharp knife between the bones, and presto, two perfect half racks. Place both sections in a 1 gallon zip bag. Now its time to prepare a little marinade. In a small sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce, and about 1/4 cup of water. Also feel free to throw in a little of your favorite hot sauce. Over medium heat, stir the mixture until the BBQ sauce is a bit thin (about 30 – 60 seconds). Add a little more water if you need to. Kill the heat, and give the mixture a minute to cool. Check to make sure it has cooled and pour it in with the meat. Stick the bag in the refrigerator and leave it for about 4-6 hrs.
Once the ribs have chilled in the marinade for the 4 hour period, we’re ready to start cooking. Preheat the oven to about 325 degrees. Slow cooking is the key to tender ribs. Place the ribs in a baking pan and pour the marinade over top. Cover with aluminum foil. Cut a slit in the foil to let steam escape. Cook at 325 for about an hour. Pull the pan out, remove the foil (be careful and watch for escaping steam) and turn the ribs. Cover, and its back into in the heat. Sixty minutes later, pull the foil off and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Flip the ribs, and put em back in the heat for a final 45 minutes. After the ribs have cooled, they are ready for the tailgate cooler.
Moving on to the side dish, We’ll need a large pot of boiling water. Wash the potatoes under running water, and place in the boiling water for about 20-25 minutes or until just before fork tender. DON”T OVERCOOK! We are making potato salad, NOT mashed potatoes. Once cooked, let the potatoes cool. Cut them into bite sized cubes, skin on, of course. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix in potatoes, onion and celery. Be careful not to beat the potatoes apart because we want some bite sized chunks left for the finished product. Once everything is coated, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I prefer a whole 24 hours personally. Place the salad in an air tight container, and its off to the tailgate.
At The Game
OK, it’s game day. It’s time for all the hard work and waiting to pay dividends. I hope the beer is cold and the grill is hot at this point. Set the heat on the grill to medium low heat. Cover your grill rack with a sheet of aluminum foil. Place the racks of ribs on the foil and cover. Since we already did most of the work, all we really need to do is heat the racks up. I usually cook them for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then it’s time to sauce. Use the remaining bottled BBQ sauce to brush on the meat. Coat one side, cover for about 3-5 minutes, flip and coat the other side. Cover again, flip again, and sauce again to preference. Be careful to keep an eye on the racks when you start brushing the BBQ sauce on. BBQ sauce burns VERY quickly on a grill. Now just plate em up, and throw a scoop of that potato salad on the plate, crack open a cold beer, and get ready for the game. ENJOY…… napkins not included!