Baby back ribs are a favorite of mine! I prefer them to the typical pork spare ribs found at the majority of BBQ joints as baby backs are the meatier of the two.
Locally, baby back ribs run anywhere between $3.50 to $5 a pound. However, my local Randall’s grocery routinely has sales on their meats. That includes ribs pretty regularly. When ever they are on sale, it’s always worth grabbing at least one rack. (I’m sure if someone watched they would think it strange that I look through the entire batch in the display freezer before I pick out the one that I want!)
There are recipes where you can sous vide the ribs for 12 hours only at ~165 degrees. I prefer to sous vide my baby backs for longer at lower temps: 152 degrees for 24 hours. I do this for a few reasons.
First, I don’t have to worry about the tenderness of the rib meat. Second, at this time and temp, the silver skin on the bottom layer will effectively dissolve. That way, I don’t have to remove this membrane from the meat, which is a real pain for my arthritic hands. The final reason is that with only smoked salt and pepper, the natural flavor of the pork comes through. As an added bonus, the liquid that come from the ribs is full of flavor and usable for gravies, soups and sauces.
I finish the full rack in a 400-degree oven. I begin by brushing sauce on them then at 15 minutes intervals I turn over the ribs to let the sauce caramelize. I do this three times. Front to back and then back to the front.
The rack of ribs shown in the pictures represents about three delicious meals for two.
Left over meat taken off the bone makes delicious tacos, barbecue sliders, or an Asian inspired dinner with a side of steamed rice.