Growing up with southern influences while living in the northeast region has been quite interesting to me. I embrace my southern roots but not all of the delicacies enjoyed by my southern brethren. For instance, my mom is a true southern chef and would prepare things like pig feet, chitterlings, pork ribs, muskrat, fried chicken livers or chicken gizzards smothered in onions and gravy with rice. Don’t ask about the muskrat which is really called musk rabbit. It smelled good but is one food I refused to eat. I preferred cereal or lunch meat sandwiches on muskrat dinner night.
Although I ate the other dishes growing up, I can say the thought of eating pig feet, chitterlings or chicken livers makes my stomach churn a little and my head ache. Back then you ate whatever was served (except muskrat) just because your mama made it. Now, I have total control over what I eat and it does not include anything that makes me frown when I look at it. The one thing I do like that my mom prepared in my younger days is ribs!
Mustard Baby Back Ribs is a slight twist on the ribs my mom made for every family BBQ. Everyone loved my mom’s ribs because they were smoky and tender plus she made her own BBQ sauce which had a tangy mustard and vinegar flavor. Once you tasted her sauce you were hooked. Even my neighbors started asking if Mrs. T could make them a batch of sauce after they tasted it at one of our backyard BBQs.
Okay, back to the Mustard Baby Back Ribs. A few weeks ago, I had a taste for baby back ribs but I did not have any of my mom’s sauce on hand so I had to think outside of the box to get the flavors I wanted. I decided to place the ribs in a mustard marinade to mimic the nice tangy flavor of my mom’s BBQ sauce. I think my idea worked beautifully and by the number of clean bones left on the family’s plates they thought it was a good idea too.
Mustard Baby Back Ribs
2 packages baby back ribs
½ onion sliced thin
4 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 ½ tbsp salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp black ground pepper
½ tbsp lemon pepper
½ tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Place baby back ribs in a large bowl. Add seasonings, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Mix thoroughly to coat ribs with seasonings and mustard. Place in a plastic zip lock bag and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Spray cooking spray on the bottom of a baking dish then line it with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray then spread sliced onions on the bottom of the baking dish. Season with a little salt. Remove ribs from plastic bag and place in a single layer over the onions. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes then cover with foil and bake another 30 minutes. Remove the ribs from the oven and top with your favorite BBQ sauce. Place ribs back into the oven uncovered and bake an additional 30 minutes.