by Diane Rossen Worthington
There are many Seriously Simple recipes as well. This one is a keeper.
In the summer, my family requests baby back ribs. They want the meat falling-off-the-bone tender and caramelized with barbecue sauce. The barbecue sauce is essential, and I am always fooling around with different variations. These ribs are succulent and meaty, the perfect finger food (and most of the cooking is done ahead in the oven). Be sparing with the chipotles because they can pack a lot of heat -- better to start with 1 tablespoon adobo sauce and 1 chili and go from there.
The ribs are first marinated in the sauce and then brushed with it before baking. It is always important to boil a sauce after it has been in raw meat to avoid any health issues. Boiling the remaining sauce for at least 3 minutes will remove any problems.
Although the honey helps temper the heat of the chipotle, it is best to use this fiery pepper sparingly. A can of chipotles packed in adobo sauce contains too many to use in one recipe. Select what you need and freeze the remaining. I find it useful to first discard the stems and puree the chilies and adobo sauce, measure by the tablespoon, and freeze to use in bean soups, salad dressings, or stews.
What to serve with these tasty ribs? Grilled corn and your favorite coleslaw will round out the meal. I am a big fan of American craft beers, so find a local one, make sure to chill well and serve in frosty mugs.
Baby Back Ribs with Chipotle Honey Barbecue Sauce
Makes 4 servings.
1 cup honey
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 to 2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, stems trimmed, chopped, depending upon taste
2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the can of chilies), depending upon taste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 racks (about 2 1/2 pounds each) baby back ribs, each rack halved
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. To make the sauce, place the honey, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, chipotles, adobo sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic and salt in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat until simmering. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Let cool.
2. Season the ribs on both sides with a sprinkling of salt and a grinding of black pepper and rub in. Place the ribs in a 2-gallon, resealable plastic food storage bag and add the cooled sauce. Refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours, turning the bag occasionally.
3. When ready to cook the ribs, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large roasting pan or a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Fit a rack in the pan and place the ribs on the rack. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and gently heat over medium heat for 5 minutes. Brush the ribs with the sauce.
4. Roast the ribs for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basting lightly and turning every 20 minutes, until the meat begins to pull away from the bones. The ribs can be made ahead and left to stand for up to 2 hours either in a cool kitchen or in the refrigerator.
5. Just before serving either preheat the broiler on high or heat the barbecue to medium-high. Brush the ribs lightly with the sauce and broil or grill on the barbecue for about 2 minutes, or until browned and bubbly. Cut between the ribs and pile them on a platter. Heat the leftover sauce to a gentle boil and simmer for 3 minutes before serving with the ribs.
Baby Back Ribs with Chipotle Honey Barbecue Sauce Recipe, American Barbecue Cuisine