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  • The Chopping Blog

The Return of Mario, Grilling Season and Mother's Day Ribs

Posted by Mario on Apr 26, 2017

I find it no coincidence that my return to the blog-o-sphere has coincided with another return… grilling season! Finally, we get to enjoy a bit of warm-ish weather, grab some new charcoal or fill up our propane tanks, and take off those vinyl jackets that have been safely protecting our grills throughout the Chicago winter.

grilling class aerialI taught the first grilling class on The Chopping Block's outdoor grilling patio at Lincoln Square last weekend. Preparing for “Rendezvous Under the Stars” got me thinking about some of my favorite grilling techniques and recipes. The first one that always comes to my mind is one of my all-time favorites… BBQ ribs.

mario grill classIn my family, we have always celebrated Mother’s Day at my house. This is so that my mother and sisters did not have to worry about cooking, entertaining, and cleaning up on their day of enjoyment and relaxation. Even though Mothers Day is still a few weeks away, we have already started to discuss the menu, which really is not a discussion, just everyone telling me that they want what I have always made: “Mother’s Day Ribs”.

Mario GrillSo for all you moms out there, or more importantly, all you dads, husbands, sons, and significant others who will hopefully be cooking for all of those moms, here is my recipe for Mother’s Day Ribs.

BBQ Ribs

Yeilds 6-8 servings

Total time: 12 hours

3 racks pork baby back ribs, membrane removed

2 cups apple cider

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 jalapeno, sliced


For the Rub:

½ cup paprika

3 tablespoons black pepper

4 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon oregano, dry

1 teaspoon thyme, dry

1-3 teaspoons cayenne (optional)

3 teaspoons granulated garlic

3 teaspoons dry mustard (I like Coleman’s dry Mustard, but any brand will work.)

  1. Mix all of the rub ingredients thoroughly. Rub on all sides of the ribs liberally. Place ribs and a rack set in a sheet tray and refrigerate them, uncovered for at least 8 hours. I will usually do this the night before and let them sit overnight.
  2. Set your grill to indirect heat and get the temperature to 250-275 degrees. You want to make sure that it does not get over 275.
  3. Place the ribs on the grill, meat side up, or in a rib rack. Let them go undisturbed for 1½ hours.
  4. In the meantime, heat a small sauce pan and add the apple cider, vinegar, brown sugar, and jalapeno slices until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. 
  5. After the ribs have been cooking for  ½ hours, open the grill and gently brush the ribs with the cider mixture. You want to get a good amount on there, but be careful as to not brush off any of the rub.
  6. Repeat this about every 20 minutes or so, until the ribs have been on for a total of 3 hours.
  7. At the 3 hour mark, the ribs should be done. The meat should have retracted from the bones a little and you should be able to pull them apart easily. If not, leave them on the grill for a little longer until you can pull them apart.
  8. Serve hot with your favorite BBQ sauce.

If you like this recipe, or if you want to know more about pork and pork cookery, join me this Saturday, April 28th at Lincoln Square for my Whole Hog class. I will be butchering a whole pig from start to finish and discussing which cooking methods we use for all of the different parts and why we use them. Hope to see you there!


Topics: ribs, Grilling, grilling patio, BBQ, Recipes, grilling classes

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