Ribs are the best thing ever. I mean, what’s not to love? Salty, sweet, savory, and spicy all at once. Messy. Indulgent. Piggy goodness. Come on, they’re awesome! This recipe is for homemade BBQ sauce applied with slow-cookingly fantastic results to baby back ribs prepared in the oven.
For the sauce and ribs
2 cups tomato puree
2/3 cup dark molasses
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs gluten free soy sauce
2 tbs Worcheshire sauce
1/3 cup Bourbon
1 tsp smoked paprika
a dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp of minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3 tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 lbs baby back ribs
1/3 cup water
1 tbs cider vinegar
To make the BBQ sauce, mix the pureed tomato, the molasses, maple syrup, soy sauce, Worcheshire sauce, bourbon, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chipotle chiles, cider vinegar, and salt in a large pot over low heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning. If you like it a bit sweeter, add more maple syrup. If you prefer a more savory sauce, incorporate a bit more soy sauce and molasses. If you like more heat, add a bit more cayenne or chipotle peppers. Salt may be needed to brighten the sauce, or if you like a bit of a tarter flavor, add more cider vinegar. Simmer the sauce a bit longer, letting the flavors develop and meld, maybe another 10-15 minutes.
Once it has simmered a total of about 25-30 minutes and the flavors are just right, the sauce is done. You can cool it and put it in the fridge for up to a week, or you can use it right away.
To cook the ribs, remove them from their packaging and cut them into 3 rib sections with kitchen shears. Rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Generously season the ribs on both sides with Kosher salt. In a bowl, mix 1/3 cup water and 1 tbs cider vinegar with about 1 cup of the homemade BBQ sauce.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Place the ribs in a large, rimmed baking sheet and pour the sauce mixture over, turning to coat well on both sides. There should be plenty of liquid in the pan, but not overflowing. Cover the entire pan with a layer of foil, pressing the edges so steam can build up inside.
Put the pan of ribs in the preheated oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Set your timer for 45 minutes. When it goes off, take the ribs out and flip them over, so the meat side is up. Resecure the foil over the tray and return to the oven for another 45 minutes. After an hour and a half, the meat should be tender and falling off the bones. If it isn’t, cover them again and return them to the oven by 30 minute increments until tender.
Once the meat is tender, take the pan out of the oven and pour the remaining BBQ sauce over the up (meat-side) of the ribs. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees and return the ribs to the oven (uncovered) for an additional 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and just beginning to caramelize on the edges of the ribs.
Serve piping hot!
These ribs are perfect with Jalapeno Honey Corn Muffins and a simple salad or steamed green beans.