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Spicy and Sticky Baby Back Ribs
© Quentin Bacon

Spicy and Sticky Baby Back Ribs

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 4 HRS plus overnight seasoning
  • SERVINGS: 6 to 8 servings
  • MAKE-AHEAD

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.

  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.