These baby back ribs with a bourbon cherry are a welcome spoiler

Bourbon-Cherry Glazed Ribs

Active time:40 minutes

Total time:2 hours 40 minutes, plus overnight refrigeration


Active time:40 minutes

Total time:2 hours 40 minutes, plus overnight refrigeration


While it’s true that there’s never a bad time for ribs, grilled ribs in the summer are extra special. You can eat outside. You get to embrace the mess.

Eating ribs indoors requires a modicum of civility to keep your clothes, furniture, and face gravy-free. We snack on them with sticky pinkies. We can dream of tearing up those tender, succulent ribs with our bare hands and going to town on them like a dog with a cushion, but we don’t, because we’re not barbarians.

As winter turns to spring and our days get longer, our patience for rib restraint diminishes. We emerge in the great outdoors with a thirst for freedom. Freedom to run barefoot through wet grass. Freedom to cartwheel on the sand and splash around in the waves. Freedom to eat ribs like no one is watching.

The most tender and meatiest of all the ribs is the baby back, which has nothing to do with babies, but everything to do with the back. They come from the back of the pig, where they wrap around the loin.

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Because it’s the leanest part of the pork, ribs have very little fat and plenty of meat to drizzle with copious amounts of sweet, sticky gravy. All pork ribs will melt off the bone when cooked slowly and slowly, but thanks to their small size – it’s the shortest rib cut – baby backs will go from grill to table faster than all other cuts. This is an important thing to consider when you are spectacularly hungry for ribs.

Where the baby’s back ends, the ribs begin, curving around the pig’s fat, tasty belly to its breastbone. Ribs are fattier, with very little meat on top of their long, flat bones and lots of well-marbled meat between them. More marbling means more flavor, but it also means you have to wait a little longer for your ribs to be tender.

At the end of the ribs, where they meet the breastbone, is a fatty flap of meat resembling pork belly studded with small bits of cartilage known as the rib tip, and it is pristine when cut. she has enough time to blend into the stuff that dreams are made of. If you want to use ribs instead of baby back in this recipe, give them an additional 10 minutes on low, low heat, for tenderness that falls off the bone, do 20. Then move them from the side of direct heat. off the grill, apply the bourbon cherry sauce and get ready to have a good time.

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St. Louis style ribs are ribs that have the short ribs removed, so you can use them interchangeably with baby backs in this recipe with no adjustments necessary. These rectangular grills are a great choice if you want the almost paramount experience of feasting on flavorful, fatty rib meat without the gristle.

And, remember, it’s okay to ravage one of these coasts as if we are, in fact, barbarians. After all, it’s summer.

Bourbon-Cherry Glazed Ribs

This recipe calls for baby back ribs, but can also be made with ribs or St. Louis ribs. These cuts of ribs, which come from the belly region of the pig, are flatter, fattier and tastier, but because of their marbling they take a bit longer to cook; add at least 10 more minutes to the “low and slow” cooking time, then use visual cues to determine when they’re tender enough to move to direct heat. This recipe will also yield more glaze than you’ll likely need for two racks of ribs; you can serve it on the side or use it to glaze poultry the next time you grill.

get ahead: Ribs should be scrubbed and refrigerated for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days before cooking.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate ribs for up to 3 days. Leftover frosting can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 year.

REMARKS: To prepare your gas grill for indirect heat grilling: Cover and preheat with all burners on high until it reaches 300 degrees. When you’re ready to cook, if you’re using a three-burner grill, turn off the middle burner and reduce the heat on the other burners to medium-high. Many two-burner grills are set up for indirect heat, so you can simply place the food in the center of the cooking grate. Heat one burner to medium-high and leave the other off.

Grilling Basics Guide

If you are using a charcoal grill: fill a firelighter with charcoal, light it and, when the coals are burnt, arrange them on either side of the pan, leaving an empty space in the middle. If your grill is too small to allow for an empty spot, push embers to one side, leaving the other side empty. Pour enough water into the pan so that it reaches at least 1 inch aside. Replace the cooking grate and place an oven or grill thermometer on it. Cover the grill and preheat over medium-low heat, about 300 degrees. For medium-low heat, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the embers for about 8 seconds.

If using a charcoal grill, the recipe may take about 15 minutes longer.

oven method: These ribs can also be slow roasted for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a preheated 300 degree oven. To caramelize the glaze, at the end, raise the rack about 6 inches from the grill and broil for about 3 minutes, watching carefully so that the glaze does not burn.

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  • 2 squares (3 to 4 pounds total) baby back ribs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, sweet or hot
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • One bag (16 ounces) of frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Remove the silver membrane from the back of the ribs by slipping a butter knife under the skin in the midsection, and lifting and loosening until you can grab a portion with a towel, so you can tear it off. first one side, then the other.

Dry the ribs well and brush each with 1 tablespoon mustard.

Cure Ribs: In a small bowl, combine sugar, cumin, paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Cover the ribs on both sides with the dry rub. Place in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to overnight.

Grilling the ribs: Remove the ribs from the fridge and let come to room temperature for about 1 hour before grilling.

Prepare the grill for indirect heat. (see notes). Place a heatproof or aluminum pan next to the embers on the coldest side of the grill. Pour enough water into the pan to reach at least 1 inch aside, then add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar. Place the grate over the pan and embers and place the ribs on the pan bone side down. Close the grill and adjust the heat to maintain a temperature of around 300 degrees. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat begins to pull away from the bone.

Make Glaze: While ribs are grilling, in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, bourbon, molasses, orange zest, cloves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook until the cherries begin to soften, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and, using an immersion blender, puree the frosting until smooth. (Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.) Return the pan to medium-low heat and continue cooking, uncovered, until thickened, about 5 minutes . Remove from heat and reserve; you should have about 2 cups of frosting (you will need about 1 cup for the frosting).

Have a cutting board and serving platter handy.

Brush the ribs with the glaze and slide them to the direct heat side of the grill. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, then brush the ribs with more glaze and turn them over so they are meat side down. (If you have flare-ups, move the ribs slightly to the side so they aren’t directly over an open flame.) Continue grilling, uncovered, until the sauce begins to caramelize, 5 to 10 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer the ribs to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut between the bones. Place ribs on a serving platter, brush with glaze and let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving (4 ribs / 12 ounces meat plus 1/4 cup glaze)

Calories: 825; Total fat: 40 g; Saturated fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 252mg; Sodium: 1134mg; Carbohydrates: 27g; Dietary fiber: 2g; Sugar: 26g; Protein: 67g

This analysis is an estimate based on the available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietitian or nutritionist.

From food writer Allison Robicelli.

Tested by Todd A. Price; questions by e-mail to [email protected].

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