Making the McRib into the MichRib

Yes, the McRib is back. My first reaction was, dude, AWESOME! Mainly because everyone keeps saying its awesome, and perhaps I’m just a follower.

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Then I thought about it.

Look, I’m all for its $2.99 price tag and seemingly not-too-terrible 500 calories, but it’s not the most amazing sandwich I’ve ever had in my life.

I made a legit rib sandwich, which, yes, took longer than waiting in the 5-minute McRib line at my local McDonalds. But I think investing a couple hours into a real Rib sandwich that has the fixin’s of a McRib is the right way to go.

To rehash so that McRib enthusiasts don’t burn me at the stake, I get that the appeal of the McRib is the ease of picking it up, the delightfully fake pork rib texture and the tangy bottled BBQ sauce… but give this recipe a shot and you can save the McRib for late nights after lots of partying and booze.

There were a couple things I took into account when making my own rib sandwich. Let’s call it the MichRib.

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I wanted to have a really delicious BBQ sauce, made from the juices of my pork ribs.

I wanted to get relatively inexpensive pork because I know no one will make this if my ribs are $15.99/lb.

I wanted to make sure to have the elements that actually make a McRib what it is (onion, pickles, soft bread).

The actual McRib, which I ate 2 of just to refresh my memory, has a patty that appears to be ground pork shaped into fake rib form without bones in it. We all know this does not exist in nature.

You have the option of going to the grocery store and finding some ground pork turned into rib shape. My 2 local groceries stores didn’t carry them, but it would certainly cut down on the labor to create your own McRib.

For my tasting notes, the McRib is highly sweet and tangy. The actual patty itself doesn’t soak in the flavor, which means if you want that, you can cut your rib cooking time in half.

For me, I wanted a permeating savory, sweet, tangy flavor. You will be glad to know I asked for extra McD’s BBQ sauce and I topped my meat with it.

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Here’s my recipe.

The MichRib

(serves 1)

Ingredients

1/2 lb pork spare ribs

1 tsp salt
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup white wine
1 tbsp apple or white wine vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced

potato roll or your bread of choice
1/4 onion, sliced
3 pickle slices

Directions
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.

Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl. This your dry rub. Cut your ribs so that they are each an individual piece (i.e. 1 bone per piece). Rub it on all sides of each piece of rib. Make aluminum foil package, shiny side down, and place ribs in, side by side.

At this point, I refrigerate my ribs for an hour or so to let the flavors settle in, but that’s optional.

Meanwhile, mix the white wine, vinegar, Worcestershire, hoisin and garlic in a bowl.

Pour liquid into the foil package and stick into oven for 2 and a half hours.

Lower your oven to 200 degrees and cook for another hour.

Pour out the liquid into a saucepan and reduce to about 1/3 (should be syrupy). Taste the sauce and see if it’s to your liking.

Glaze the ribs with your sauce, then put the ribs under the broiler for a 2-3 minutes.

At this point, I let the ribs cool a bit, then grabbed a fork and knife and just pulled the meat off the bone (it should slide off, after braising for so long).

And then just compile your sandwich.
Bread + meat + pickles and onions, for those of you who have never eaten a sandwich.
I added some McD’s BBQ sauce, you know, just for authenticity sake.

P.S. This was an awesome it’s-snowing-on-Halloween(?!)-so-I’d-rather-watch-college-football activity.

Who the heck wants to don a skimpy costume and head into the cold?

Extrapolate that feeling to the rest of winter. This is definitely the way to spend your cold weekend days.

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