When you live with a Southern man, there are certain words you can say that are pretty much guaranteed to make him light up like a Christmas tree. Grits. Fried okra. Fried peach pies from The Varsity in Atlanta. (This last one is a pure tease, since we live about 15 hours from the Varsity.) And if all else fails…ribs. He does love ’em. And while you can always go the grill route with ribs, as with my dad’s famous Coca-Cola Ribs, my other favorite, less complicated and fool-proof way is to cook them low and slow right in the oven.
This recipe is from the delightful cookbook Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook, and if you have a long lazy day that you’d like to have end with some tender, juicy ribs, here’s your recipe. You make a quick and simple sauce of tomatoes, onion, garlic, maple syrup, soy sauce and red pepper, and then pour half of it over some country style pork ribs. Cover the pan with foil and pop it in the oven for about three hours. Take a nice long nap. Take the foil off and pour the other half of the sauce on, and cook the ribs for another hour or so. Your sauce will get nice and thick and your ribs will have slow-cooked into tender wonderfulness.
Now if you serve these ribs with some cheese grits on the side, it will almost make up for not living next door to the Varsity. Almost.
Slow Low Oven Ribs, from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook