Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BBQ Ribs


Mop Sauce:

3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup whiskey or bourbon
3 tbsp. soy sauce

Rub and Ribs:

1 tbsp. coarse sea salt
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 racks baby back pork ribs (4 to 5 pounds total)
2 cups favorite BBQ sauce


Make the mop sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in bourbon or whiskey and soy sauce. Keep warm.

Make the rub. Place the salt, brown sugar, paprika, pepper, mustard, garlic powder, and celery seed in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar or garlic powder. Set the mixture aside.

Prepare the ribs. Place a rack of ribs with means side down on a baking sheet. Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back for the rack by inserting a slender implement, such as a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer, under it. the best place to start is on one of the middle bones. Using a dishcloth, paper towel to gain a secure grip, peel off the membrane. Repeat with remaining rack.

Sprinkle the rub over both sides of the ribs, rubbing it onto the meat. Cover the ribs with saran wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the grill.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling and reheat to medium (325 to 350 degrees). Place a large drip pan in the center of the grill under the grate.

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the ribs bone side down in the center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the ribs for 45 minutes.

Mop the ribs on both sides with some of the Mop Sauce. Cover the grill and continue cooking the ribs until well browned, cooked through, and tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer. When the ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about 1/4 inch. Mop the ribs again every 15 minutes.

When ribs are nearly done, baste with BBQ sauce and cook for final 15 minutes.

Here is what to look for when trying to decide if the ribs are done:

1. An exterior that's darkly browned and crusty.
2. Meat that has shrunk back about 1/4 inch from the ends of the bones.
3. Meat that is tender enough to tear apart with your fingers. Remember, ribs should have some chewiness to them.

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