Photograph by Gentl and Hyers Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Dry Rub Ribs & Grilled Corn

Mains from Issue 5 – Spring / Summer 2014 – Caravan

A chile powder-doused rub as dry as the desert gets generously massaged onto racks of ribs before they are slow-cooked until their flesh is tender and juicy. Served alongside ears of scorched corn, it’s a meal for which a fork is simply superfluous.

serves 4 to 6

  • 2 racks baby back pork ribs, about 4½ lbs total
  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp finely ground coffee
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp New Mexican chile powder
  • 3 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 to 8 ears of corn

  • 1

    Ribs: Preheat oven to 350°F. Pry a dull knife under the membrane on the underside of each rack to loosen in one spot. Using a paper towel, grab hold of the membrane and peel it off like a bandage. It’s easier than it sounds.

  • 2

    Stir together all the spices. Rub racks generously with spice mixture top and bottom. Place each rack on a double sheet of foil and fold up. (Don’t skimp on foil.) Bake packets on a foil-lined baking pan 2 hours until ribs are very tender. (Ribs can be cooked 24 hours ahead. Cool uncovered then cover with fresh foil.) Before serving, briefly grill ribs, without foil for extra char or in foil to reheat. Transfer to a cutting board and cut between bones.

  • 3

    Corn: Preheat a grill to medium heat. Remove the silk from ears, leaving husks on. Soak in a bowl of water, 15 minutes. Drain, then grill corn, covered, turning occasionally, until tender, about 15-20 minutes.