Beer-Braised Baby Back Ribs with Orange-Tamarind Sauce
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
- SERVINGS: 8
"I started making my Abilene sauce 20 years ago, and every year I tweak it or add something," says Olivia chef James Holmes of his signature barbecue sauce. Despite its spicy intensity, the pork and beer flavors come straight through.
- Six 12-ounce bottles lager
- 3 racks baby back ribs (3 1/2 pounds), each rack cut in half
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped sauce
- 1/4 cup rendered bacon fat
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup ketchup
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup strong-brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
- 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate (see Note)
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable oil, for brushing
- In a large pot, combine the lager, baby back ribs, carrots, celery and onion and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, turning the ribs a few times, until the ribs are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the ribs to a work surface and let cool. Cut in between the ribs at 2-rib intervals.
- In a large saucepan, heat the bacon fat. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes longer. Whisk in the orange juice, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, coffee, sambal oelek, molasses, tamarind concentrate, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, puree the sauce in a food processor.
- Light a grill. Brush the ribs with oil. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Brush the ribs with the sauce and grill, turning and brushing with more sauce, until richly glazed and browned, about 2 minutes longer. Serve the ribs with extra sauce for dipping.
Beer: Fruity, rich Belgian-style pale ale: 2010 Goose Island Matilda.
Wine: Earthy, berry-inflected Monastrell.