Introduction: Melt in Your Mouth Ribs
I'm a modest person, there are many things I don't share on Instructables because I don't think it's perfect and thus it's not good enough to post. I'm my own worst critic.
That being said, I'm a Texan and I used to work for a BBQ pit to help pay for college. I have never had ribs (made by a person or a restaurant) that are as good as these. The secret is keeping the moisture in the meat. When you're done they shouldn't be difficult to cut because they're so tender and falling apart.
As a Texan I prefer dry rub over southern style sauces. I feel like the meat should have enough flavor it doesn't need a sauce, it should be savory and have a little bite to it without being overly hot. Some of this is because if it's just hot without flavor it seems like you don't know how to flavor the meat. The other part is my husband can't even handle too much pepper. (Sorry honey, I love you!) So let's make the best ribs you'll ever have. ;)
Step 1: What You Will Need
I place a couple of dishcloths on the counter to keep the cutting board from sliding while I'm working with the ribs. You'll need a roll of aluminum foil, a large cutting surface to work on and a good knife. The ingredients are easy! Mayonnaise (NOT miracle whip), Cajun seasoning and babyback ribs. It's easier to cook them on a baking/cookie sheet if you have one but mine bit the dust last week so I used a roasting pan I had on hand. You can make these on the grill if you have one, but I made them in the oven for this recipe.
Step 2: Dry and Trim
Preheat your oven to 300°F (149°C). Dry off the blood from the ribs and trim the fatty tissue off of the end. This is pretty easy to do, it just is a little tedious because it may come off in pieces. Take your time so you don't accidentally cut off the meat. That's the good part!
Step 3: Score the Membrane
The membrane attached to the rib bones acts as a moisture barrier and stops it (and the flavors from the rub) from getting through to the meat. I've seen people cut it off but it's a giant pain in the butt and completely unnecessary. I just score it in a crosshatch pattern with my cutting knife. A couple of good passes for each line is good enough, you just have to get through the membrane.
Step 4: Tenderize the Meat
Nobody likes tough bbq, and if you tenderize the meat with your knife then it gives the seasoning and mayo a place to soak in more thoroughly. Take your knife and stab the top of the ribs all the way across until they're perforated. You're just going through the top, don't stab so hard that you cut all the way through the meat.
Step 5: Moisturize
The way you get fall of the bone tender ribs is make sure they retain their moisture. You could only wrap them, but using mayo adds a lot of extra moisture and is the secret to why they're so tender! Make a line of mayo across the ribs and massage it into the meat until it covers (this includes the sides!). If you're like me and you hate the feeling of raw meat, this will be the most disgusting thing you've ever felt. Just grit your teeth and bear it.
Step 6: Rub
The Cajun seasoning is the perfect dry rub: tangy, savory and a little bit spicy. It soaks into the meat and tastes amazing! Take your seasoning and shake it back and forth to cover the ribs in a light layer. Make sure you get the top, bottom, and all of the sides!
Step 7: Wrap
You want to wrap the ribs completely in foil to trap the moisture in while they're cooking. Lay them out and fold over the ends then fold over the sides. Pull another sheet over where those sides are together to cover the gap they create and flip them over. Fold again the same way and place them bottom side down on your baking sheet then place in the oven. You want them bottom (bone) down to begin with so the moisture will rise and permeate through the membrane.
Step 8: Cook and Flip (a.k.a. Wait Forever)
Place your wrapped ribs bottom side down on your baking sheet and place in the oven. Set the timer for 1.5 hours. When the timer goes off, flip them over to their top side and put them in for another 1.5 hours.
Step 9: Cut and Serve
Be careful removing the foil! It's full of extremely hot steam and juices from the ribs. You can easily burn yourself if you put your hand over the opening in the foil. Gingerly remove it and let the ribs rest for 10 minutes. They will be so tender you could pull them apart so you will also need care in cutting them apart. Take your knife and follow slowly along the bone as your guide. Serve and enjoy!