Netflix Inspired Pre-Thanksgiving Feast! (BBQ Ribs)

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Happy Holidays, friends!
Are you cooking like crazy? I have been! Today was off to such a wild start. The little turkeys and I went grocery shopping this morning.  (It took us three hours to go to two stores!)  We have such a busy week ahead…Thanksgiving and then Ava’s 4th birthday, and then, before we know what hit us…Christmas! I don’t think I leave the kitchen long enough to breathe during this time of year.
Thank goodness for nap time, right?! Seriously, one of my favorite things to do, especially during this hectic season, is to put the girls down for their naps and turn on the TV while I start the nightly dinner process alongside ‘my girls’ Giada or Pioneer Woman. There is just something wonderful about hearing another mama (or human over the age of five) talk to me about life and food after a long, hard day. It’s like therapy for me. I feel like I’m in the kitchen, cooking with friends.
That brings me to what I have to share with you today – Netflix! I always thought of Netflix as a ‘movies only’ company. Really. I was that clueless. But, after looking into it more, I found that Netflix let’s members enjoy their favorite TV shows too, anytime and anywhere they want! With Netflix you can watch your favorite shows on an iPad in the kitchen, the big screen in the living room, or even on your phone while waiting in line at the grocery store. This is such good news! Netflix has been making some BIG changes regarding the consumer’s experience, in regards to streaming, making the process visually appealing and easy to navigate. (You can even connect your Facebook account to Netflix and share what you’ve been watching with friends.) Netflix also can suggest shows for you based upon the season (i.e. Thanksgiving) or your own personal streaming history. True fact. Oh, and instant video streaming is just $7.99 a month! Now, I don’t know about you, folks, but my cooking shows are costing us, oh, about ten times more a month. True fact, also. This is definitely a product that my husband and I are going to seriously consider for our family. I think the unlimited access to documentaries is a plus for him too. He loves them. Strange guy. 😉
Anyway…on to dinner! Turkey is NOT on the menu tonight! We’ll have plenty of that soon! Tonight, it’s all about the mister, and we’re having Curtis Stone’s “Freddy’s Sticky Saucy Barbecued Ribs” (inspired by the political drama ‘House of Cards’. I’ve yet to see that show. You? I’m more of a Hallmark channel or HGTV kind of gal.)
These are ready for the oven!  Here’s the recipe, if you’d like to try!  Can’t go wrong with Curtis Stone and ribs, right?!
Freddy’s Sticky Saucy Barbecued Ribs
Every time I’m watching “House of Cards” on Netflix, I want to taste those ribs that Frank eats from Freddy’s BBQ Joint. Now we all can sink our teeth into those sticky saucy ribs right along with Frank! These ribs are served with a barbecue sauce more like the one you’ll find in North Carolina (where Frank is from originally) – one with plenty of vinegar, mustard, and a touch of heat. I’ve included two cooking methods for you to try –the original true barbecue method where the ribs are slowly smoked in the barbecue, and the quicker oven-baked version – both are finger lickin’ good! (Curtis Stone)
Serves: 8
Prep Time: 5 hours (includes marinating time)
Cook Time: 4 1/2 hours (for barbecued ribs) or 2 1/2 hours (for oven-baked ribs)
Make-Ahead: The barbecue sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated; reheat before using.
Ingredients
Spice Rub:
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Barbecue Sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup whiskey
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Ribs:
4 racks pork baby back ribs (2 1/2-pounds each)
3/4 cup cider vinegar
Optional Special Equipment to Barbecue the Ribs:
One 13 × 9-inch (or larger) disposable aluminum foil pan
3 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in cold water to cover for 1 hour
Clean spray bottle
Method
To prepare the spice rub:
1. The day before you cook the ribs, make the spice rub. In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin together. Place the ribs on 2 large baking sheets and rub the ribs all over with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Meanwhile, to make the barbecue sauce:
2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the garlic is tender.
3. Stir in the paprika, then stir in the whisky and vinegar, bring just to a simmer, and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Bring the sauce to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring often to prevent scorching, for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Remove from the heat. 
4. Prepare an outdoor grill for low cooking over indirect heat: For a gas grill, place the foil pan over one or two unlit burners and half-fill the pan with water. Turn on the remaining burner(s) and heat the grill to 300°F. Spread 1 cup of the drained wood chips on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the foil directly on the lit burner and wait until the chips are smoking before you add the ribs to the grill.
5. For a charcoal grill, place the foil pan on the charcoal grate on one side of the grill and half-fill the pan with water. Build a charcoal fire on the other side and let it burn until the coals are covered with white ash and you can hold your hand just above the cooking grate for 4 to 5 seconds. (To check the temperature more accurately, cover the grill and drop a long-stemmed metal candy thermometer through the top vent; it should register about 300°F.) Sprinkle 1 cup of the drained wood chips over the coals.
6. Combine the vinegar and 3/4 cup water in the spray bottle. Season the ribs with the salt. Place the ribs on the cooking grate over the water-filled pan. (Don’t worry if the ribs extend over the pan, as the pan will still catch the majority of the dripping juices.) Grill, with the lid closed, turning the ribs over and spraying them every 45 minutes or so with the vinegar mixture, adding another cup of drained wood chips at the same intervals, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is just tender. For a charcoal grill, you will need to add 12 ignited charcoal briquettes (or the equivalent in hardwood charcoal) to the fire along with the chips every 45 minutes to maintain the grill temperature. (Light the charcoal in a chimney starter on a fire-safe surface, or use a small portable grill or hibachi.) For either grill, do not add more wood chips after the 1 hour and 30 minute point, as too much smoke will give the ribs a bitter flavor.
7. Once the ribs are tender, begin brushing them lightly with the barbecue sauce every few minutes or so, allowing the sauce to set before applying the next coat. Continue brushing the ribs with the sauce, turning occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the meat has shrunk from the ends of the bones. Transfer the ribs to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.
Alternatively, to bake the ribs:
8. Position the racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover the ribs on the baking sheets with foil. Bake the ribs, rotating the baking sheets and basting the ribs after the first 45 minutes, and recovering them with foil, for 1 1/2 hours, or until the ribs are tender and the meat has shrunk from the ends of the bones.
9. Uncover the ribs, baste them with the barbecue sauce and continue baking for 10 minutes, brushing them lightly with the barbecue sauce every few minutes or so, allowing the sauce to set before applying the next coat.
To serve:
10. Using a large sharp knife, cut the racks into individual ribs. Arrange the ribs on a platter and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Some notes about the above recipe and my own diversions… 
One – I went with a smaller cut of ribs (and boneless), because this was more than enough to feed me and the hubs.  The children are living on mac ‘n cheese.  Another true story.  I stuck with the original amounts on the sauce recipe, because we will put a good BBQ sauce to use any day.  I wouldn’t be shocked to find the mister drinking it.  Eww!  haha  Did I take that too far??
Two – I don’t go into the liquor store, like ever. If you saw the kind of day I’ve had, you may suggest that I do… However, I chose to substitute apple juice for the whiskey called for in this recipe. I’m sure that they would’ve tasted just as delicious, if not better, but I have to shop with three monkeys, and a store full of glass was just not happening this week. 😉  You can make the sauce ahead, pour it into a glass canning jar, like the one pictured, and store the extra in the refrigerator.  (We’re having pulled pork on Monday, so I will put the leftovers to good use!)   
Three – As far as cooking, I went with the quicker, oven method.  For the same reason…I have three monkeys to tend to, plus, it’s 20 degrees outside!  We’ll be revisiting this recipe for sure once the weather is warmer, because my hubby loves ribs on the grill…and in the smoker…  He loves ribs.
Thank you, Netflix (and Curtis Stone), for access to a great recipe, and now an affordable, user-friendly TV experience.  You have made us one happy household…
Happy Thanksgiving!!!  Enjoy watching your favorites with your favorites this holiday season!  xo!
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