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Diane Rossen Worthington
Through the years I have experimented with different ways to cook baby back ribs and different sauces to complement them. I find that first seasoning and then baking them enclosed in aluminum foil in a 325 F oven, essentially steaming them, results in a moist and very tender slab of ribs. A bonus is that this can be done a day ahead, cooled and refrigerated.
This family-friendly Baby Back Ribs recipe features a sweet yet slightly savory sauce made with apricot preserves. It is used for the glaze and as a sauce for dipping. The ribs are finished briefly on the grill after they are cooked. Brushing the glaze on while they are grilled will help prevent the sugars in the glaze from burning. The remaining sauce is served on the side. This is a good technique for any rib recipe you like.
If you're wondering what to serve with these tasty morsels, consider a simple coleslaw flavored with a bit of chopped dill. Grilled corn on the cob would be just right, too. For an easy dessert, how about fresh summer berries with sliced pound cake? To drink, I like ice-cold Chinese beer or a dry Rose.
-- When you're selecting ribs, look for the meaty and less fatty baby back ribs, sometimes called loin ribs. They have a covering of meat over the bones and also between them that makes them leaner and meatier than spare ribs. They are shorter and smaller than spareribs. They are a bit more costly than spare ribs, but they're well worth it.
-- Look for racks that have meat on them and not a lot of fat. It's best to purchase fresh ribs that have not been frozen.
-- Sometimes you will find the smallest ribs cut up and sold as "Chinese style" ribs. These are the small ribs from the end of the loin rack. Use these in the recipe that follows, if you prefer; they make a great appetizer.
-- Use this glaze on pork tenderloin or chicken.
Apricot Glazed Barbecued Baby Back Ribs Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Apricot Glazed Barbecued Baby Back Ribs Recipe Ingredients
About 2 tablespoons favorite seasoning salt or meat rub
4 pounds pork baby-back ribs
1 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup favorite barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Apricot Glazed Barbecued Baby Back Ribs Recipe Directions
1. Add the salt or rub to the ribs and rub all over the ribs. Place the ribs in a jumbo plastic sealable bag and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours, turning occasionally
2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Blend well, stirring to incorporate the ingredients into a sauce consistency, about 3 minutes. Divide in half in two small bowls. Reserve.
3. Preheat the oven to 325F. Place the ribs on a piece of foil large enough to wrap tightly without any holes. Place the package in a large roasting pan and bake for 1 hour. Or alternately, place the ribs in a roasting pan and cover well.
4. Remove the ribs from the oven. Cool. Remove the ribs from the foil and drain.
5. Just before serving: Prepare the barbecue for medium-heat grilling. Brush the ribs with one of the bowls of the sauce on both sides and then grill them about 3 inches from the flame for about 5 minutes on each side or until they reach the desired doneness, basting occasionally with one of the sauce, making sure they do not burn. Place on a serving platter and serve with the other bowl of glaze.
Advance Preparation: This may be prepared 1 day ahead through step 4, covered and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before grilling.
Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks (click here), including "Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.
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Barbecued Baby Back Ribs with a Sweet and Savory Apricot Glaze Recipe
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