While I certainly enjoy cooking a complete meal from scratch, I admit to being occasionally lazy, and enjoying one that has been prepared for me, stuffed in a bag and boxed for me to purchase. I was at Costco a few days ago looking for vinegar with which to kill the weeds in my backyard, and I came across some delicious-looking ribs, which were on special, too! I purchased two boxes of the Plaisir Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs. The regular price for these prepared and fully-cooked ribs is $9.79, and a $2.80 Costco instant rebate applied, bringing down the price to a very reasonable $6.99.
Each box contains a full rack, or about 700 grams, as per the box. This translates in about $1 per hundred grams, which is a great deal. I think this may be cheaper than buying them fresh and making them the way you want. It’s certainly easier, that’s for sure.
The ribs and the sauce come packaged in a convenient sealed pouch, which is nice since the preferred method of heating up the ribs – not cooking, they’re already cooked – is putting them in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes, followed by in minutes in the oven. I didn’t do that, I just put in the over for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and they were awesome.
I lined a cooking sheet with foil, as it makes them easier to clean, and just dumped the ribs (the picture above is the contents of two boxes) on the foil; I then poured the rest of the sauce right on the ribs. I then covered the whole thing loosely with more foil, as per the instructions, and heated them up in the over.
I originally planned on taking a picture right after taking the ribs out of the oven, but my wife and my son were too hungry… yeah, it was mostly me. I devoured almost a full rack, and my wife and son had half a rack and a bit between them. Needless to say, we were all stuffed, and then I remembered I wanted to take pictures. Thankfully, there was some left, which will make a very tasty take-out lunch.
Those ribs are absolutely delicious and taste like home-made, for two excellent reasons: first, the ingredients are perfectly healthy and wholesome, and second, the nutrition facts sheet reads like a cardiologists’ worst nightmare.
First, the ingredients. Here they are, in the usual order:
- Pork Back Ribs
- Brown Sugar
- Tomato Paste
- Cider Vinegar
- Soy Sauce
- Apricot Puree (sugar)
- Natural Smoke Flavor
- Mustard Flour
As you can see, there’s nothing wrong here. Except for the apricot puree, which I would never have thought to include in my recipe, or the natural smoke flavor, every one of those ingredients I actually have in my pantry. I could have made those ribs.
Now, have a look at the nutrition fact sheet, right here. Notice the portion size; it’s 100 grams of meat and sauce. Assuming that there are about 500 grams of meat and sauce in the package, leaving out 200 grams for bones, you can see that this is an incredibly unhealthy thing to eat, at least if you consider the fat and salt.
If you’re eating the full package of Plaisir Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs, and trust me, it’s not very difficult, you’ll exceed your entire day’s recommended intake of fat and saturated fat, give your salt intake a run for its money, and blow through 1,250 calories’ worth of meat. You’ll also have eaten about 125 grams of proteins and gotten 50% of your daily iron, but that pales in comparison next to the 400 mg of cholesterol and 25 grams of saturated fat.
Now, even after writing this, I’m not going to stop eating those ribs. In fact, I’ll probably go buy more while they’re on sale and freeze them. Plaisirs Gastronomiques translates in English to ‘Culinary Delights’, and this is exactly what those BBQ Pork Back Ribs provide me: pure pleasure. They are tender, fall-of-the-bone perfect, and present a flawless equilibrium between sweet and salty, which is difficult enough to achieve. The texture is perfect, the taste is perfect, the ingredients are natural, but everything has a price, and in this case, well,it’s the fact that natural doesn’t mean ‘good for you’, health-wise.
Get your Plaisir Gastronomiques BBQ Pork Back Ribs at your local Costco while they are on special, but if they’re not, don’t fret. They are well-worth the full price of $9.79!