Friday, December 18, 2009

Mike Chiarello's Baby Back Ribs with BBQ Sauce

3 racks baby back ribs, about 6 lbs total
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

BBQ Sauce:
2 tblsp EVOO
2 tblsp minced garlic
1 cup ketchup
1 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brewed espresso (or coffee)

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Cut each rack of ribs in half crosswise (between 2 ribs). Season with salt and pepper. Cover a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set 3 of the half-racks side by side on the prepared baking sheet and top each with another slab.

Bake the ribs, rotating the slabs top to bottom every 30 minutes, until tender, about 2 1/2 hours (I do 3 hours). Remove ribs from the oven and cover with a foil tent to keep them moist until you are ready to grill them.

Prepare the barbecue sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and saute until it is golden. Remove from heat and let the garlic cool in the oil. whisk in the ketchup, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, and espresso/coffee. Simmer gently for 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill, preheat a gas grill, or preheat an oven to 425 F. Brush the ribs generously with barbecue sauce. If you are grilling the ribs over charcoal, arrange the hot coals in a ring around the perimeter of the grill so that the ribs can cook in the center over indirect heat; if cooked directly over the coals, they would burn. If you are using a gas grill, adjust the flame so the ribs cook over indirect heat. Grill the ribs in a covered grill with the vents open, or bake them uncovered in the oven Baste occasionally with additional sauce until the ribs are lightly caramelized. Transfer the rib racks to a cutting board and cut into individual riblets. Serve immediately.

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