Everybody and their mother has their own secret to fall-off-the-bone ribs. Well, after this post, my secret will be not so secret.
Two words: marinate and slow cook.
To illustrate, I present you with my recipe for Chili Limeade Baby Back Ribs.
(Warning: this recipe requires overnight marinade, don't count on it for a quick dinner)
The ingredients you will need are:
1 rack baby back ribs (These are always on discount at my local supermarket)
4 cups Limeade
3-4 tbsp chili powder
2 ft tin foil
To assemble this dish:
You'll want to rinse off the ribs under a gentle faucet. The juices that collect in the packing are never particularly conducive to an appetizing dish. Set the ribs in a baking pan, meat side up. Pour your limeade into the baking dish, but reserve maybe 1/2 a cup for later. The limeade shouldn't cover the ribs, and should in fact only come up maybe half way up the ribs. Take 1 tbsp chili powder and rub it onto the meat. At this point, things should look like this:
Now you're going to flip the pork over. Sprinkle a pinch or two of chili powder onto the underside of the ribs. The curve of the ribs on the underside should allow you to pour the remaining 1/2 cup of limeade onto the ribs and have it stay. Once you've done that, cover with saran wrap and put into the fridge overnight.
The long marination lets the pork suck in the sweetness and sourness of the limeade, as well as the bite of the chili. It also gives the limeade ample time to tenderize the pork.
When you're ready to get cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees farenheit. Pull out the dish and season with salt an pepper on both sides. Make sure you get good coverage with the salt because you really need it to balance out the sweet that the limeade brings. Now use the rest of the chili powder to rub all over the meat side of the ribs. Leave the limeade in the pan with the meat for cooking.
Make sure the meat side is face up before you begin cooking. Cover in tin foil and put the ribs into the oven for one and one half hours (1-1/2). When they come out, they should look like this:
So there you are: my secret to fall off the bone ribs.
What really makes them fall off the bone is the fact I'm cooking them with a lot of liquid in a sealed environment under low heat for a long time.
I've got another secret, this one pertaining to rubs on ribs, rather than marinades. Even though it works along the same principles, you'll have to wait until later to get your eyes on that one.
Thanks again guys, and have a great meal.