We decided to make a typical BBQ picnic style dinner for our good friends Rae and Mon. What is more typical than BBQ ribs? Now, I have made ribs several times but the recipes are all so labour intensive; marinate, boil, bake and finally BBQ, so it’s not something I like to do a lot. Last year I found a recipe on Bon Appétit, July 2005, by Ted Reader a famous Canadian Chef (never trust a skinny chef — this dude is totally trustworthy!) Chef Reader’s Brown Sugar and Bourbon Ribs totally rocked and were not that much work; tender, sweet, smokey, just plain damn good. I’ve adjusted the recipe by very little due to unavailable ingredients (just too lazy to get them!), but you can click here for the original recipe.
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple butter (I took one delicious apple, cored it and cooked it in about 1/4 cup water until soft. Add a pinch of cinnamon and blend with an immersion blender, strain through a fine seive. Presto: apple butter)
- 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons apple cider (didn’t have this ingredient)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I just used a pinch as our guests are not ‘spicy hot’ food lovers)
- 2 2- to 2 1/4-pound racks baby back pork ribs
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 6 thin rounds peeled fresh ginger
- 1 1/4 cups apple cider (I used organic apple juice, as there wasn’t any cider this time of year!)
For basting sauce:
- Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend.
- Set aside in refrigerator overnight.
- Mix first 7 ingredients in small bowl. Using small sharp knife, loosen membrane from underside of each rib rack and pull off (or score membrane). Rub the seasoning mix into each side of each rib rack. Place ribs in large roasting pan. Cover and chill at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Lift ribs from pan. Scatter onion, cinnamon stick, and ginger in pan. Pour in cider (apple juice). Return ribs, meat side down, to pan; cover pan with foil. Roast ribs until meat is tender and begins to pull away from bones, about 2 hours. Uncover; cool at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill ribs until heated through and slightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Brush generously on all sides with basting sauce. Grill until sauce becomes sticky glaze, about 3 minutes longer per side. Transfer rib racks to cutting board. Cut racks between bones into individual ribs. Arrange on platter and serve, passing remaining sauce separately.
These are the preliminary photos, final photos will be posted tomorrow. Oops, the camera never made it to the table!