Grilled Short Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
© Christina Holmes

Grilled Short Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN

This delicious barbecue sauce gets its smoky flavor from berries that are grilled in a perforated pan; you can use sturdy foil or a foil pan with holes punched in instead. Chipotle chiles packed in adobo amplify the smokiness of the berries.

Slideshow: Barbecued Ribs


  1. 1 pound blackberries
  2. 2 teaspoons sweet pimentón de la Vera (sweet smoked paprika)
  3. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  4. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  5. 1 medium onion, finely chopped, plus 1/4 cup minced
  6. 1/4 cup tomato paste
  7. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  8. 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  9. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  10. 3 tablespoons seeded and minced chipotles in adobo sauce
  11. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  12. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  13. Kosher salt
  14. Pepper
  15. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  16. 2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano, plus more for garnish
  17. 4 1/2 pounds flanken-cut beef short ribs (1/3-inch thick)
  18. Thinly sliced radishes, for garnish
  1. Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the blackberries with the pimentón . Spread the berries in a perforated grill pan or in a foil pan with holes poked in it. Grill over moderately high heat, tossing, until the berries just start to burst, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until just golden. Add the chopped onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the blackberries, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, chipotles, mustard and cumin and bring just to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until slightly thickened and the berries are very tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer the sauce to a blender and let cool slightly, then puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the solids. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and let cool completely. Spoon 1 cup of the sauce into a bowl and stir in the minced onion, the olive oil and the 2 tablespoons of oregano. Reserve the remaining sauce for grilled chicken or pork.
  4. Light the grill and oil the grate. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and brush with the blackberry sauce. Grill over high heat, turning once, until nicely charred, 3 minutes. Continue to grill for 2 minutes more, turning and basting with more sauce, until glazed. Garnish the ribs with radishes and chopped oregano; serve hot.
Make Ahead
The blackberry sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Suggested Pairing

Peppery, blackberry-rich Petite Sirah from California was practically made for sticky barbecue.