Puttin’ On The Ribz

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If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go eat, Why don’t you go where fashion sits… Puttin’ on the Ribz!

Puttin' On The Ribz - inspired by Young Frankenstein!

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Regular reader(s) will be aware that this blog can be bit of a free-for-all in terms of content. We do, however have a rule that the songs used must have appeared in a stage production at some point. Credit goes to Keith for coming up with the pun to accompany these barbecued ribs and I assumed I would find a show to base this on. As it turns out, Puttin’ On The Ritz, famously performed by Fred Astaire in the 1930 movie of the same name, never appeared in an Irving Berlin stage musical. However, thanks to its use in an altogether different movie 40 or so years later, it has more recently been used in the stage musical adaptation of Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein.

A spoof of the Universal monster movies (especially the 1930s Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein), Young Frankenstein has become a beloved film comedy classic and, following the success of movie-to-stage-musical conversion of The Producers, was first produced on Broadway in 2007 to moderate critical success. A revamped production supervised by Mel Brooks himself has just opened in London’s West End. Other than Puttin’ On The Ritz, the music and lyrics are by Mel Brooks and are an uncanny pastiche of music of that era. The show incorporates all of the film’s key elements, but Puttin On The Ritz has become a massive production number. This new London production has already been seen by two thirds of the Cabernet editors and is hilarious – Lesley Joseph in particular…

But how exactly do you put on the ritz? Or ribz for that matter? I’m so glad you asked… over to our rib expert, Georgina (who hasn’t seen the show but has an impressive rack (of ribs) to share with the interweb:

Well, um, thanks, Angus, for that kind introduction! These ribz are seasoned with a dry rub, and then slow cooked in the oven. I’ve used baby back pork ribz and the result is tender and moist (yes, I used that word just for you, Angus), and full of flavor. The instructions are simple:

Make the rub.
Rub the rub into the ribs.
Cook the rubbed ribs.
Consider sharing the cooked rubbed ribs.
Eat all the cooked rubbed ribs on your own.
Send photos to your co-editors and gloat about your ribz success.

Puttin' On The Ribz - inspired by Young Frankenstein!


Yield: 1. Maybe 2. If they're lucky.

Puttin’ On The Ribz

Puttin’ On The Ribz
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes


  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 tbs onion powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 rack of baby back ribs


  1. Preheat the oven to 275F.
  2. Mix together all the rub ingredients.
  3. Pat the baby back ribs dry with kitchen paper, and remove the membrane from the back with a sharp knife. Place the rack in a large baking pan.
  4. Sprinkle the rub all over the ribs, and use your fingers to rub it in thoroughly.
  5. Roast the ribs in the oven for 3 hours.
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