I had this idea for BBQ ribs in the oven due to the fact that I live in Manhattan, where grilling outdoors is not really an option. But I had a hankering, and was determined to see if it could be done indoors. Here’s the deal: The ribs are baked in three phases, first inside an aluminum foil tent for one hour, then the tent is removed and ribs are glazed every 15 minutes for another hour. The last half hour the ribs are left alone to absorb the glaze. So plan ahead: 3 hours of cooking time are required. That’s after marinating overnight, or for at least 4 hours. This recipe requires commitment!
The recipe for the Bourbon Glaze on the ribs ties in with my party theme with all food having an alcoholic element in it. And this glaze works nicely on the baby back ribs or, for your vegetarian friends, on roasted potatoes or eggplant—see the recipe at this link. Be sure to serve with plenty of napkins.
MAKES ABOUT 14 RIBS
DO AHEAD: MARINATE THE RIBS IN A SPICE RUB
1/2 CUP turbinado sugar
2 TB chili powder
1 TB cumin
1 tsp cayenne
2 TB salt
2 1/2 LB baby back ribs, membrane removed
Mix sugar and spices together. Pat rub onto ribs. Wrap and place in the fridge overnight, or at least 4 hrs.
MAKE THE BOURBON GLAZE
The date molasses gives this glaze its sweetness, the tanginess comes from the vinegar and worcestershire, and the punch from the bourbon. Makes about 3 cups.
2 TB grapeseed oil
1/2 CUP onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 CUP bourbon
1 CUP white vinegar
1/2 CUP ketchup
1/4 CUP Alwadi date molasses
2 TB Coleman’s prepared mustard
2 TB turbinado sugar
1 TB honey
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/2 TB chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until lightly brown, about 5 min, stirring occasionally. Whisk remaining ingredients in a bowl, add to saucepan, simmer 20 min. Sauce should be slightly thickened.
Pour through mesh strainer. Save the onions to use as a relish. Allow to cool. Put in covered bowl and let it sit overnight in the fridge for maximum flavor, or use immediately.
SET OVEN TO BROIL: SEAR THE RIBS
Set a wire baking rack over baking pan, and place ribs meat side up. Set under the broiler for 4 min to caramelize the sugars.
START BAKING THE RIBS … LOWER OVEN TO 300ºF
Remove pan from the oven. Remove the baking rack with ribs. Position aluminum foil on bottom of the pan and measure enough to fold into a tent over the ribs and baking rack. Bake in the tent for 1 hr on middle shelf.
FINISH THE RIBS …LOWER OVEN TO 275ºF
Remove ribs from the oven, open foil tent and trim excess with scissors. Brush glaze onto top, flip over, glaze the rib side. Return to oven ribs up and continue cooking for 1 hr, basting both sides every 15 min, flipping ribs back up to the meaty side after 30 min. After the hour is up, keep the ribs in for an additional half hour without basting so the glaze becomes solid. Ribs are done when thermometer inserted in the center reads 145º.
Before removing from oven, put the oven on broil. Keeping the ribs on the middle shelf, broil for 5 min. Remove from oven, allow to rest 10 min. Slice between the bones. Serve with glaze on the side.
See more intoxicating recipes for alcohol-infused nibbles in 09 Alcohol Infusion