All fired up

Nothing says summertime like a backyard barbecue.


Forget fine dining this month. The best meals to be had are just a stone’s throw away in your very own backyard –– no reservations required. But if you’re looking to add some flair to your meat and potatoes, look no further. Paula Deen, the Queen of Comfort Food, puts her spicy Southern spin on that summertime favorite, barbecued ribs, to create a sun-sational main course for an afternoon cookout.

Baby Back Ribs
2 racks baby back ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
Barbecue sauce, recipe follows
Lemon wedges
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the racks of ribs in half crosswise. Rub the ribs, paying special attention to the meaty side, with 1/2 cup of the sauce. Lay the rib pieces meat side down in an 11-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. The pieces will overlap slightly. Add the lemon and rosemary to the baking dish.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil, and bake the ribs until the meat begins to pull away from the ends of the bones and the ribs are just tender, about an hour.

Note: You can bake the ribs up to a day before and keep them refrigerated. Bring refrigerated ribs to room temperature about an hour before you grill them.

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.

Grill the ribs, brushing them with about half of the remaining sauce, until they’re crispy and heated through, about 10 minutes. Move the ribs around as they grill; the sugar in the barbecue sauce makes it easy for them to burn. Let the ribs rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting them into one- or two-bone pieces. Put out the rest of the sauce for dipping, or brush it over the ribs.

Barbecue Sauce 
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons yellow prepared mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons paprika
Pinch garlic powder
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper

Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until it’s slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to two weeks. Yield: 3 cups

Recipes by Paula Deen 

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