Ribs. Is there anything more appropriate for a Memorial Day BBQ? There are many schools of thought as far as rib preparation goes. Grilling vs baking. Dry Rub vs Sauce. I like to go all out, and do all of those things! A dry rub for a few hours, then baking in the oven til perfectly tender and ALMOST falling apart. Then a quick grill with a delicious basting BBQ sauce.
The sauce itself is magical. The folks at Musselman’s sent me a big jar of their apple butter to try out – and I used it as the base for the sauce. To be honest, I think the apple butter itself brushed on meats on the grill would be wonderful – it’s the perfect texture and consistency. But, I went ahead and added some other delicious things to it – like bourbon and brown sugar – and it knocked it out of the park!
They’ve offered to send one lucky reader a grilling package to kick-start your summer as well – featuring a jar of their delicious apple butter, a sauce mop, and some delicious recipes! Just leave a comment telling me what your plans are for Memorial Day weekend? My mother-in-law is in town visiting, so we plan on spending some quality family time together – and maybe a night out on the town dancing while Grandma babysits! Contest will run today through next Monday (5/27) at 11:59 PM EST.
Bourbon & Brown Sugar Ribs
For the sauce:
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons hard cider
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
For the ribs:
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
2 2- to 2 1/4-pound racks baby back pork ribs
1 large onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
6 thin rounds peeled fresh ginger
1 1/4 cups hard cider
Prepare the sauce by whisking all ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Set aside.
To make the rib rub, combine salt, brown sugar, mustard powder, thyme, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne in a small bowl. Using small sharp knife, loosen membrane from underside of each rib rack and pull off (or score membrane). Rub 1 tablespoon 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. 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.
Source: Bon Appétit, July 2005
Disclaimer: I received a grilling package from Musselman’s for my review. As always, all opinions are my own.