Father's Day is just around the corner, and the summer season is about to hit full stride. This means one thing: it's time for BBQ Ribs. Nothing says more than Dad and summer than a platter of crispy, finger-licking, sweet and spicy baby back ribs.
They say the key to BBQ is in the sauce. I agree, but I also say the key is in the rub. Coating the ribs in a dry rub and tucking them into the fridge overnight before grilling results in succulent and deeply flavored meat with a crispy bark. The salt in the rub will pull out the moisture then be re-absorbed into the meat, while the spices will stick to the exterior of the meat and form that ever so wondrous crispy exterior (the bark) during the grilling process.
So don't hold back -- Dad's worth it. Start this recipe the day before grilling. Then grill the ribs low and slow, until the meat is super tender. To prevent the sugars in the sauce from burning, only brush the ribs with sauce during the last 10 minutes or so of grilling, which will be just enough time to allow the sugars to caramelize. You can either brush the racks as they are, or cut them into individual ribs and then brush with the sauce.
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 racks baby back pork ribs, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds, membrane trimmed
2 chipotles in adobo, minced, with juices
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
3 garlic cloves, minced
1. Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Spread the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet and coat on all sides with the rub. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for up to 24 hours.
2. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over low heat (250 degrees to 275 degrees). Grill the ribs until the meat is tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning once or twice. Remove and cool the ribs until cool enough to handle, then cut into individual ribs.
3. While the ribs are grilling, combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Grill the ribs, turning as needed, until they begin to crisp. During the last 5 to 10 minutes of grilling, baste the ribs with the sauce and continue to grill until crispy. (If the ribs begin to burn, move them to indirect heat.) Serve warm.
CAPTIONS AND CREDITS
Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood.