Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Whiskey Rum Barbecue Ribs

The past few weeks, pork ribs were on sale at the supermarket.  Baby back ribs cost a little more since they are very tender and meaty.  They were about CAN$5.49/lb, roughly $9 per rack. Last week, I was able to score CAN$1.99/lb for regular side pork ribs which were about $4 per rack!  Very delicious!

I love ribs.  I love getting my fingers messy.  I love the sweet and sticky rib sauce... I love that  "fall of the bone" experience when you take a bite and the meat simply falls apart... 

I was never able to get my ribs to "fall off the bone" until I removed the tough back membrane behind the bones.  This membrane is very tough and takes a long time to break down in cooking.  Doing this step made the ribs very tender.  Yes, it is extra work, but so worth it!  

I used a small sharp knife and trimmed the membrane off.  You can also rip this slippery membrane off with your hands and paper towel.   

In a rush?  You can also perforate the membrane with a knife so it can cook down better.  If I have the time, I prefer to cut away the membrane. 

Some people swear by boiling ribs.  My problem:  my pot is not big enough to boil several racks of ribs for an hour or so.   Instead, I use the oven and slowly roast them over low heat in aluminum foil.  While the fat melts out of the ribs, the flavour stays in the meat and not in the boiling water.  I can easily make ribs for a large crowd with this method.  

Double wrap the ribs in foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours at 275F.

Put the sauce together while the ribs are baking.   The original recipe calls for rum. When I ran out of rum, I used tequila and whisky with no complaints. A nice dark ale or beer (Guinness) would be tasty too.  The possibilities are endless!  Also, you can use your favourite salsa. We prefer mild salsa.  If you like medium or hot/spicy salsa, feel free to use it!

Let the sauce sit for a bit so the brown sugar can dissolve. 

After 2.5 hours in the oven, remove from foil and transfer the ribs to a container or pan.  

Coat the ribs with sauce and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, or overnight in the refrigerator.  I usually make this the day before and marinate overnight.

You can use the BBQ to finish the ribs.  I usually use the oven for easy cleanup.   Place the ribs on a parchment lined pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Baste with the marinade every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let the ribs rest for a few minutes.  They will be easier to cut when they cool down a little. 

Whiskey Rum Barbecue Ribs

The original recipe makes a lot of sauce for 4lbs, so I scale it down a little and it makes just enough sauce for basting in the oven or BBQ.

4lbs pork spare ribs, or 2 racks baby back ribs
1 cup brown sugar (I use 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup ketchup (I use 3 Tbsp)
1/4 cup soy sauce (3 Tbsp)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (3 Tbsp)
1/4 cup rum (3 Tbsp rum.  I like a combination of 2 Tbsp rum, 1 Tbsp whiskey)
1/2 cup chile sauce (I use 1/2 cup favourite salsa)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dry mustard (I use 3/4 tsp)
1 dash ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Cut spareribs into serving size portions or leave rack whole.  Wrap in double thickness of foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours.  

In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, rum, chile sauce, garlic, mustard and pepper.  

Unwrap and drain drippings.  Place ribs in large roasting pan.  Coat ribs with sauce and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight.  

BBQ method:  Preheat grill for medium heat.  Position grate four inches above heat source.  Brush grill grate with oil.  Place ribs on grill, and cook for 30 minutes, basting with marinade every 10 minutes.  
Oven method:  Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake for 30 minutes, basting with marinade every 10 minutes.  

MMmmmm.... My dinner:  a nice green salad with chicken and RIBS!  My youngest couldn't get enough of them! 

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  1. Yum, I love making ribs. I am the Pit Master in my household so I love making ribs, which I usually use beer instead of whisky, but I will love to try whisky :)in my recipe. They look very tasty :P

    1. Thanks Lorraine! They are tasty but I was spoiled with baby back ribs. Will try beer next time to change things up!


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