Here in Florida, September is still a very hot month. And while the kids are back in school and the stores inexplicably have started selling sweaters and jackets (which we can’t wear here for about another two months), we straddle the line between feeling like fall and still wearing shorts and t-shirts. And since it’s Friday, and no one in the family has any plans other than to be home for dinner—we’re having one of our favorite combinations, ribs and potatoes—both slow roasted in the oven—with the ribs finished briefly on the grill afterwards.
Of course, you can serve either of these recipes on their own. But you’ll notice that both of them require 2 hours of slow cooking at the beginning. So, this meal is good to make when you’re home for the afternoon, but you have things to do other than cook too much. And the smell of the ribs and potatoes that slowly comes into the kitchen while they’re cooking makes everybody feel hungry by the time everything is done. I like to make a green salad to go along with this meal too—and I serve extra barbecue sauce on the side.
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
2 slabs of baby back ribs, each slab cut in half (about 5 or 6 ribs per piece)
Fresh, coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cut four pieces of aluminum foil, each one big enough to completely wrap one serving of the ribs. Place one-half slab of ribs on each of piece of foil. Salt and pepper both sides of the slabs. Wrap each one up with a tight seal and place all four packages on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 2 hours.
Preheat or light your grill. Remove the ribs from the oven, open each package and put the rib slabs back on the baking sheet. Brush both sides of each slab with the barbecue sauce. Grill for 5 minutes per side until the sauce is nicely browned on the ribs. Remove to a platter and serve.
Slow Roasted Potatoes
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
2 pounds small white or red potatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup mint, packed, leaves only, finely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Wash the potatoes well, dry them thoroughly and prick each one with a fork a couple of times. (You do this to keep them from exploding in your oven.) Put the potatoes in a roasting pan and roast for 2 hours. Remove from the oven, cool for about 10 minutes and cut each potato in half. Put the potatoes in a bowl big enough to toss them thoroughly.
Mix together the garlic, oil, mint, sea salt and pepper and pour over the potatoes while they’re still hot. Correct the seasoning to your taste. Let the mixture stand for a while—at least 30 minutes, but they can rest longer. Serve at room temperature or, if you’d like them warmer, run them back in the oven for about 10 minutes to heat them up.