I just love me some down home BBQ.
I swear – these were sssooo good – if I would’ve had one of those triangle dinner bells, I would’ve rung it baby! Calling all cowboys!… these ribs are man pleasers!
But, I’m often torn on what BBQ sauce to make. The husband and I aren’t big fans of the BBQ sauces that call for lots of brown sugar, honey, molasses – or any other overly sweet ingredient – which always means coming up with something on our own. Start with a good base and tweak, tweak, tweak until you get it right.
Or, as my friend would say “fake it until ya make it, darlin’”. I think she’s on to something there, don’t you?
A few years ago, I found a BBQ sauce recipe on AllRecipes and I tried it nearly as it was written, cutting in half all the sweet elements like the molasses, honey and brown sugar. And although it was absolutely delicious as it was, it still didn’t quite satisfy the spicy bite and mouth-watering flavors I needed. Over the years, I’ve tweaked that recipe many different times, different ways, to find just that perfect balance.
This last time, the sauce came out particularly delicious – and I think this was in part due to my incessant tweaking and changing it up. Also, I didn’t have the exact ingredients the original recipe called for (like Whiskey) and instead I substituted Apricot Flavored Brandy, which I think added a flavor profile that was surprisingly good.
Remember the Oven Baked Garlic Potato Wedges I wrote about on Monday? These go fabulously with these ribs! Serve them with a sour cream ranch dipping sauce – and it’s money!
I’m thinkin’ I’m gonna get me one of them thar dinner bells. Yep… I shore ‘em.
- 2-3 pounds baby back pork ribs
- coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon ground red chile pepper
- 2 ½ Tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup minced onion
- 1½ cups water
- 1 (6 ounce) can (1/2 cup) tomato paste
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ⅛ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
- 2 teaspoons Apricot Flavored Brandy
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dark molasses
- ½ tablespoon ground red chile pepper
- 2 medium-sized jalapenos, chopped
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degree F.
- Cut ribs so that you have 4 half racks. Sprinkle each side generously with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Wrap each half rack in aluminum foil. Bake for 2½ hours.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onions until soft and translucent. Stir in water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with 2 teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, liquid smoke, brandy, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, dark molasses and cayenne pepper. Add chopped jalapeno and crushed red pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 1¼ hours (uncovered) until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and set sauce aside.
- Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
- Remove the ribs from the oven, and let stand 10 minutes. Remove the racks from the foil, and gently place on the grill (they will be very tender!). Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, brushing frequently with sauce. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe modified from Scott Hibb’s Amazing Whisky Grilled Baby Back Ribs from AllRecipes.