NFL Football Tailgate Menu: Mop Up Kansas City Ribs

About the only thing more controversial than which team has the best quarterback -- it's Aaron Rogers of course -- are ribs. Should you choose pork ribs, baby back ribs, beef ribs or short ribs. Should you use a dry rub or no rub? Bake them in the oven, grill or slow smoke them? Sauce or sans sauce? The questions are seemingly endless. One thing is for sure, the Detroit Lions will mop up the Kansas City Chiefs this week.

And speaking of mops, this menu includes baby back ribs marinated in a sweet and sour vinegar mop, smoked over a slow fire until the meat falls off the bone. Finish off the ribs with fire engine red sauce. And what goes better with ribs than coleslaw and baked beans -- not much.

Combine 2 cups of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of apple juice. Add three crushed cloves of garlic, one chopped onion, and up to four chopped jalapenos, the more you add the spicier the mop. Set aside one cup of the mop in a zip lock bag. Put the rest of the mop in a large zip lock bag with the ribs. Marinate overnight.

Fire engine red sauce sounds complicated but it's actually quite easy to prepare. Pour one large can of tomato juice into a sauce pan, add the juice of a lemon, 2 tablespoons butter, one chopped onion, one chopped red sweet pepper, three chopped jalapenos and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Let simmer until the sauce is reduced by half. That should take about an hour.

Light the grill. When the coals are covered with gray ash, much like the Lions defense is going to cover the Kansas City Chiefs offense, spread the coals apart to lower the heat. Wrap wood chips in aluminum foil. Poke about four or five holes in the foil to let the smoke escape. Add the packet next to but not touching the charcoal. You want it to smoke not burn.

Grill for two hours, basting, or mopping, the ribs every 20 minutes with the reserved mop.
Serve the fire engine red sauce on the side for those that don't like sauce on their ribs.

Coleslaw takes no time to prepare. Add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of celery seeds and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, honey or white sugar. Add the dressing to one package of shredded cabbage and toss.

Beef up your beans. To each can of beans add two slices cooked crumbled bacon, 1 tablespoon each of brown sugar, ketchup and apple cider vinegar. Heat through.

Take a bite of the ribs while the Lions take a bite out of the Chiefs.
Dee Power is the author of several nonfiction books and the novel "Over Time" Money, love and football, and of course a Green Bay Football Game you'll always remember. Read her partner's blog Glory Years

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