Baby Back Ribs with Apple-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Curtis-Stone-400px“One of my favourite things to cook on my Green Egg is baby back ribs. These ribs are full of big flavour as I use both a dry rub and the Apple-Bourbon Sauce. The sauce is really spicy, really sweet and has a nice piquant bite – all of the flavours that a great barbecue sauce should have. Baby back ribs are the perfect cut to serve for the 4th as there is plenty to go around and they’re made for standing around and eating off the bone. Napkins necessary!” –Curtis Stone

Recipe and photo courtesy of curtisstone.com.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 (2 ½ pound) racks pork baby back ribs
  • 2 tablespoons (about) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Apple-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, warm
  • 3 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in water for at least 1 hour

Instructions

In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Place the ribs on a large baking sheet and rub the ribs with some salt. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the ribs and massage the spices into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Set EGG for indirect cooking (with convEGGtor) at 300°F/149°C. Sprinkle 1 cup of the drained wood chips over the coal. Place a foil pan half-filled with water on the convEGGtor.

Combine the vinegar and ¾ cup water in a spray bottle. Season the ribs with salt. Place the ribs on the cooking grate over the water-filled pan. (Don’t worry if the ribs extend over the pan, as the pan will still catch the majority of the dripping juices.) Cook, with the dome closed, turning the ribs over and spraying them every 45 minutes or so with the cider mixture, adding another cup of drained wood chips at the same intervals, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is just tender. Do not add more wood chips after the 1 ½ hour point, as too much smoke will give the ribs a bitter flavor.

Once the ribs are tender, begin brushing them lightly with the barbecue sauce every few minutes or so, allowing the sauce to set before applying the next coat. Continue brushing the ribs with the sauce, turning occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the meat has shrunk from the ends of the bones. Transfer the ribs to a carving board and let rest for about 5 minutes.

To serve: Using a large sharp knife cut the racks into individual ribs. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with enough of the remaining warm barbecue sauce to coat. Arrange the ribs on a platter and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Serves 6

Apple-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ¾ cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 to 4 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped*
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut in half

Apple-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce Instructions

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until very tender, about 3 minutes; stir in the paprika and mustard powder.

Stir in the bourbon then the vinegar and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, ketchup, brown sugar, chipotle chilies, Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper. Add the apples and squeeze the juice from the lemon into the sauce.

Bring the sauce to a simmer over high heat then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly, stirring.

Note: Chipotle chilies are very spicy. Add them to the sauce at your discretion.

Serves 5

4 thoughts on “Baby Back Ribs with Apple-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

    1. He was just pictured with a MiniMax. You can cook ribs on a MiniMax by cutting ribs in sections or using a spiral rolling method.

  1. Just made this sauce and smoked 2 racks of baby backs. Changed the temps to 200 for 2 hours and ramped up to 280 for the last hour. Great sauce and perfect ribs!

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