Spicy and Sticky Baby Back Ribs
© Quentin Bacon

Spicy and Sticky Baby Back Ribs

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6 to 8 servings

Chef Way To create the flavorings for these ribs, Donald Link combines eight spices for a rub and prepares a barbecue sauce with homemade pork stock.

Easy Way Cut back the number of spices in the rub to the five essentials, and use canned beef broth in the barbecue sauce.

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  1. 1 cup dark brown sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  3. 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  4. 1 tablespoon ground fennel
  5. 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  8. 4 racks baby back ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds each), membrane removed from the underside of each rack
  9. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  10. 1 small onion, minced
  11. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  12. 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  13. 1 cup ketchup
  14. 1 cup cider vinegar
  15. 1 cup beef broth
  16. 1/4 cup hot sauce
  17. 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  18. 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, mustard, fennel, black pepper, cayenne and paprika. On 2 large rimmed baking sheets, sprinkle the spice mix all over the ribs, pressing and patting it. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250°. Pour off any liquid on the baking sheets, cover the ribs with foil and roast for about 3 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone. Pour off any liquid on the baking sheets.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook over moderate heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, vinegar, beef broth, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and molasses and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the broiler and position a rack 10 inches from the heat. Brush the ribs liberally with the barbecue sauce and broil for about 10 minutes, turning and brushing occasionally with the sauce, until well-browned and crispy in spots. Transfer the ribs to a work surface and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut in between the bones and mound the ribs on a platter. Pass any extra barbecue sauce on the side.
Make Ahead
The roasted ribs and barbecue sauce can be refrigerated separately for up to 4 days. Return to room temperature and broil just before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, berry-rich Zinfandel.