Brown Sugar and Bourbon Ribs

Adapted via Bon Appétit and Steven Raichlen

For Barbecue Sauce:
♦ 1 cup ketchup
♦ 1/2 cup bourbon
♦ 3 tbsp brown sugar
♦ 3 tbsp mild (light) molasses
♦ 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
♦ 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
♦ 1 tbsp soy sauce
♦ 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
♦ 1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
♦ 1 tsp onion powder
♦ 1 tsp garlic powder
♦ 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
♦ 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For Ribs:
♦ 1 tbsp coarse kosher salt
♦ 1 tbsp (packed) golden brown sugar
♦ 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
♦ 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
♦ 1 tsp ground ginger
♦ 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
♦ 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
♦ 2- to 2 1/4-pound racks baby back pork ribs
♦ 1 (12-oz) bottle beer (recommended: pale ale or Hefeweizen)

Make the sauce: bring all ingredients to boil in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, stirring often, about 10 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover; chill. Use at room temperature.

Prepare the ribs: mix first 7 ingredients in small bowl. Using small sharp knife, loosen membrane from underside of each rib rack and pull off (or score membrane). Rub 1 tablespoon seasoning mix into each side of each rib rack. Place ribs in large roasting pan. Cover and chill at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Cook the ribs: preheat your oven to 200 degrees F – place the ribs into a large roasting pan, and pour the bottle of beer over top – cover the pan tightly with foil, and roast in the oven for 4 to 6 hours (or until tender). Cool the ribs for about 2 hours prior to grilling (NOTE: can be made a day ahead – cover and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before grilling).

Preheat you grill to about 400 degrees F – place the ribs onto the grill, and brush with barbecue sauce. Continue to turn and baste with sauce until covered in grill marks, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately with extra sauce.

To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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