Every time I make ribs, everyone says they’re yummy, but when they ask me to make them again, I’ve no idea how I made them. So this time I’m writing it down as I cook!

(addendum: Kids, don’t try this at home, it was a fail; either because of the brining, or just overcooking during braising, this batch of ribs was completely undistinguished. I’ll have to cross out some recipes in my cookbooks, and try something different. :(

(addendum to the addendum: Standing in the kitchen, musing while nibbling on leftovers, I decided: pretty tasty, but still too dry. OTOH, a few hours sitting had made my sauce really good, too bad I tossed most of it in disgust after dinner. :(
Before I forget:
Onions, garlic, raisins,
water, balsamic vinegar, orange juice,
paprika, red pepper, black pepper, salt,
Chicago hot sauce, worcestershire, soy. )

Brine ribs : (Deprecated, skip to Braise step.)
Qt water, Coarse salt to fully saturate water at room temp
Soak ribs with brine in stainless or glass pot. ~10 min. The brining is intended to force moisture into the meat, draw off a little fat, and reduce the sometimes bitter off flavors of pork. Pour off brine, making sure to rinse off any excess undisolved salts.

(addendum: What was I thinking! I went WWWsurfing for ways to get that bitterness out of pork and found this advice. I should have realized the clown didn’t know what he was talking about; we learned about osmosis in chem or bio 101, the salty environment draws moisture through the cell walls. Doh! )

Braise ribs:
Add barely enough fresh water to cover ribs.
Several onions chopped
Handful of garlic clovess, chopped
Salt half teaspoon, or as desired (Don’t be tasting the raw porkwater!)
Peppercorns, a dozen
Rosemary, sage, bay, paprika, as desired
Cup raisins, or as desired.
(addendum: I’m the only person in the family that likes raisins in BBQ sauce…never mind…)

Bring all to boil, then reduce to covered simmer for 1 – 2 hours, ‘till tender enough to pull apart.
(addendum: Don’t cook them that long, they get too dry. )

Oven or Grill stage:
Preheat whatever you got.
Put the ribs into a lightly greased baking tray and shake them down with a mixture of red & black pepper and paprika.
Either toss the tray in the oven, adding a cup of the cooking liquor, or put your ribs out on a medium grill, close the top, but watch for flames, and turn regularly.

Taste the cooking liquor. If it’s tasty, and not bitter, leave it to reduce. If it’s bitter, strain to retain the chunky bits but discard the liquid, and add some fresh water.

Add a bit of wine or vinegar, fruit or fruit juice, paprika, and your favorite BBQ spices, continue to reduce, while watching the grill or oven.

Regarding BBQ sauces and rubs:
Every region of this country has a few styles, my personal favorites for cooking sauces are those without ketchup, or much sugar, instead spicy, with black & red pepper, onions, garlic, paprika, mustard seed, vinegar or wine, and fruit or fruit juice to provide a little sweetness. I think table sauces are best when chunky with cooked onions and fruit, but not very sweet in themselves.
I’ve no idea what region might claim this variant. I developed my BBQ tastes while working at the Old Hickory on Bird road and 75th Ave in Miami. Walter kept his recipes secret, so I had to work this out via experiment, years later. I’ve no idea whether I actually got mine like his or just developed my own taste, overriding the memories of his yummy style.

More steps to come later, once I decide what the next steps are :)