Dinner, Entrées

Succulent Ribs with Mac&Cheese

Saturday night I was set to make Ahi Tuna for Sunday dinner, so I went to the Farmer’s Market and Trader Joe’s on Sunday morning to procure all the necessary items. Back at home, I watched the Food Network while folding some laundry, when they aired a re-run of “Top 5 Restaurants: Ribs”. That’s when I realized that I need to change the game and have ribs. Luckily, I picked up a whole slab at Trader Joe’s, so there was no need to run for extra ingredients.

The result was a fall-off-the-bone succulent and tender meat, paired with delicious Mac&Cheese (because I usually have all the ingredients on hand it takes) and some green snap peas (mostly for justifying such a meal to myself).

Succulent Ribs with Mac&Cheese

Recipe by TobiasDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 – 3 lbs / 600g Pork Ribs (I used Baby Back Ribs)

  • Dry Rub
  • 1 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar

  • 1 tbsp Paprika

  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt (if you’re using Kosher salt, use 1.5 tbsp)

  • 1 tsp Cumin

  • 1 tsp Cocoa Powder

  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

  • Mac & Cheese
  • 2 cups cooked Macaroni Pasta

  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter

  • 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour

  • 2 cups / 480ml Whole Milk

  • 1 tsp Mustard Powder

  • 1 Pinch of Nutmeg

  • 4 oz. / 120g Sharp Cheddar Cheese

  • 4 oz. / 120g Gruyere Cheese

  • 4 oz. / 120g Parmesan Cheese

  • Salt, Pepper to Taste

  • 1/2 cup / 40g Panko Breadcrumbs

  • 1 tbsp / 14g Unsalted Butter


  • Make the Meat
  • Create a dry rub by mixing all ingredients together. If the cocoa powder has some lumps, sifting it will help.
  • Clean the meat, pat it dry, and rub it on both sides with the dry rub, using all of the spice mixture.
  • Set the meat, meat side down onto a rack in a roasting dish and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Put into a 225° oven for 4 hours
  • After the 4 hours, remove the aluminum foil, flip the ribs over, meat side up. Use the drippings to brush the meat and put it back into the oven at 425° for about 15 – 25 minutes, until the meat has nicely caramelized.
  • Let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Make the Mac & Cheese
  • Time starting the Mac & Cheese, so they’re ready to go into the oven together with the ribs at high heat.
  • Boil the pasta 1 – 2 minutes less than according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  • In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir to combine and let cook for about 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the milk and whisk to combine, making sure there are no lumps and nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan
  • Cook the white sauce for a few minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Remove sauce from heat and stir in the cheese, 1 cup at a time. Once the cheese has melted and is incorporated, add the pasta and stir to combine.
  • Fill pasta into an oven-proof baking dish and evenly distribute the panko breadcrumbs on top of it. Drizzle with the melted butter and put it into the oven for about 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
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