23 July 2015

Who Loves Ya Backyard Baby Back Ribs

When it comes to barbecue, I think of pulled pork, brisket and ribs.  The problem is, my favorite way to prepare ribs is not by barbecuing them, but by braising them.  I cheat a little at the end by using the grill to caramelize the glaze, just so I get the feeling that I did do some of the cooking outside.  No matter the method, these ribs will make you look like a real barbecue pit master.
I know, I know, another Alton Brown recipe.  What can I say, the man knows what he's doing.  I've got to the point where I don't follow some of his recipes to a T, and add my own little variations.  So I am making progress, especially with the non-baking applications.  One doesn't want to mess with the baking formulas.  Now that's science!
This recipe is kind of a combination of AB's Who Loves Ya Baby Back Ribs and Backyard Baby Back Ribs.  I like the use of the grill to finish the ribs for the Backyard Baby Back Ribs, but I feel the braising liquid for the Who Loves Ya Baby Back Ribs is far superior.  I also tweaked some of the spices used in the dry rub and replaced white wine with beer in the braising liquid.
So, does combining two AB recipes make it my own?  I doubt it, but it doesn't really matter, these ribs are finger-licking delicious!
Who Loves Ya Backyard Baby Back Ribs
Recipe inspired by Alton Brown

2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs

Dry Rub:
8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Braising Liquid:
1 cup beer
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of ribs on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, with the shiny side down (the foil should be 4 inches longer than the ribs on either end). Sprinkle each side of the slabs generously with the dry rub and pat into the meat. Close the foil around the ribs, almost making a pouch and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Combine all ingredients for the braising liquid in a glass bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and open one end of the foil for each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into the foil pouch. Slowly tilt the baking sheet to equally distribute the braising liquid. Place the ribs in the oven and braise for 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot and bring to a simmer.  When the liquid is reduced by half or when it has a thick syrup consistency brush some onto the ribs.

Set a gas grill to medium-high. Cut each slab in half and place them on the grill, flesh side down, close the lid and decrease the heat to medium.  Cook the ribs on each side until the glaze is caramelized.  Remove the ribs from the grill to a cutting board and slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Add the ribs and the remaining glaze to a large serving bowl and toss to thoroughly coat.  Serve and devour.

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