Evolution of Carson City Ribs

With the temperatures soaring to 100 degrees, more of us eat outside - which brought to mind my daughter's barbecued ribs recipe. This recipe conjures up debates among my children as to whose ribs are the best.

I must say all of their ribs are excellent, but the preparation techniques and fool-proofness of Rachel's recipe won out in the family rib cookoff. So I'm sharing it, and how the recipe was created, with you.

One question I had was what is the difference between Saran wrap and plastic wrap (Reynold's brand is what Rachel uses).

So here is Rachel's story:

These ever-so-delicious ribs came about several Fourth of Julys ago while attempting one of our first holiday celebration parties that didn't consist of merely alcohol and snacks.

As most Fourth of Julys go, we were planning an "easy" barbecue with a rather large group of friends. None of us wanted to spend the day in the kitchen, but the food snobs we are, we needed and wanted "good" food.

We, of course, couldn't just pick something up, so the menu planning began. With a collection of efforts and trial and error, the rib recipe evolved into "Carson City Ribs."

Even now, several years later, phone calls still need to be made to our dear parents and friends (thank you, Pam Bauter and Sue Coombs) to restore our memories each time we cook the ribs.

Among my close friends, these ribs have become requested elements of any barbecue, and they are just as great as leftovers. My own grandfather, Paul Abowd, says, "They are the best ribs I have ever had - delicious."

Cooking the ribs in the plastic wrap keeps them moist; you can't overcook them. The meat literally falls off the bone. The barbecue sauce is optional. The ribs taste great all by themselves.

These ribs are great for gatherings because they are easy to prepare, they taste great, and it looks like you have been slaving away when the actual cooking was effortless. The only catch is you must let them cook in the plastic wrap for at least four hours. So planning ahead is the key.

Since the barbecue season is upon us, what better time to try out the ribs? I hope they can become as much of a staple in your summertime get-togethers as they have in ours.

So that is Rachel's rib story. To make these really memorable, I recommend a good, stout beer or a nice California syrah for a beverage.

A syrah you would enjoy is E.O.S. from San Luis Obispo. Our friends at Aloha Liquor have it, and you can also get it at Ben's Liquor. It is a nice, full-bodied wine and very reasonably priced.

A good starter course is a wedge of English Stilton cheese with crisp apples and Queen Anne cherries from the state of Washington.

As always, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Dry Rub:

1 tablespoon garlic

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon tarragon

Rub three racks of ribs with the dry rub. Wrap each rack tightly with plastic wrap and stand ribs upright against each other in a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.

Cook at 275 degrees for two hours and then turn down to 200 degrees for the rest of the day (the longer you cook them the more tender they are).

Serve as is or baste with barbecue sauce and grill or broil for a couple of minutes.

--Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele's. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City since 1980. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment