October 31: Halloween
Before indulging in sweets tonight, eat something savory-scary: Halloween ribs! This main dish is meaty and messy and makes for a disgusting-looking but delicious dinner. If hosting a Halloween party, guests will gross out on this gruesome grub.
Preparation of the ribs is simple but the presentation can be spectacularly spine-chilling! Our version is basic—just pork spareribs smothered in our favorite flavor of BBQ sauce with a fresh red bell pepper, accessorized with a knife, plastic skull and bloody cloth. Add cold cuts to the skull (flaying flesh) and mini-sausages (intestines) for an all-out appalling yet appetizing and bloody good buffet.
Cook a creative yet creepy food—ribs—for a Happy Halloween!
- 1 or 2 racks pork ribs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Barbecue sauce (Coca Cola glaze or honey BBQ)
- Red bell pepper
Cut the ribs in half. Season them with salt and pepper. Bake the ribs in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F until cooked. Half an hour before they are done, remove from the oven. Baste one side of the ribs with the sauce. Return to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste the other side of the ribs with the sauce. Return to the oven and finish another 15 minutes.
Arrange the ribs on a platter, placing a rack on opposite sides of each other (or slice between the bones and position them like racks). In between them, put a red bell pepper in the top center. Stick a sharp knife in the red bell pepper. Decorate around the platter with cheesecloth that has been stained with red food coloring. Place the platter on a table and position a plastic skull above the red bell pepper. Serve while the ribs are still hot.
- If using one rack of pork ribs, cut in half to make a shorter rib cage. We used St. Louis-style spareribs instead of baby back ribs for this recipe because they were larger and proportionate to the size of the plastic skull.
- If serving more guests, use two racks of ribs for a longer rib cage. Although presentation is key, the ribs may be pre-cut and arranged on a platter for an easier self-serve buffet.
- Optional: Below the bell pepper and under the spareribs, scatter some sausages (such as Lit’l Smokies) in BBQ sauce to look like intestines.
- Optional: Cover a clean plastic skull with cold cuts (like deli-style, thin-sliced ham, roast beef, etc.) to look like decaying skin.
- A plastic or toy knife may be used in place of the real sharp one for safety issues.