Michael Chiarello's Babyback Ribs with Espresso Barbecue Sauce

TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 50 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 2 hr 30 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 2 racks baby back ribs (about 4 to 6 ribs per person)
  • Grey salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Espresso Sauce, recipe follows
ESPRESSO BARBECUE SAUCE:
    • 2 cups ketchup
    • 2 cups honey
    • Grey salt
    • 2 demitasse cups espresso (or about 1/2 cup of strong coffee or instant espresso)
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    Directions

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Cut each rack of ribs in half along the bone so they can be easily stacked. Lay them out on the parchment paper in which they were wrapped for easy cleanup.

    Salt and pepper liberally on both sides and pat spices into the meat. Make sure to over season the ribs, because part of the rub will inevitably come off in the pan. On a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, stack the ribs close together, about 3 layers high. Place in the oven for 2 hours, shifting the bottom layer of ribs to the top every 30 minutes until they are tender and almost falling off the bone.

    One half hour before serving, transfer ribs to a preheated grill (if using coals, make sure they have burnt down to an ember). Brush ribs with Espresso Sauce and close grill. Continue to turn and brush the ribs with sauce every 10 minutes, about 3 more times.
    Fresh ground black pepper

    Mash garlic with the side of a knife and then mince finely to release oils.

    Add olive oil to a preheated saute pan. Add the garlic and saute until it gets light brown, about 1 minute. Add cider vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, and honey and stir well. Add a pinch of grey salt, then whisk in the coffee. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.

    Let cool and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Yield: about 5 to 6 cups

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    5

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    • on June 13, 2012

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      This is easily our favorite rib recipe. Okay, the precooking takes a while, but makes the ribs so tender it is very worthwhile. But the sauce! The espresso flavor is present but not overwhelming. It is sweet, but with enough garlic and vinegar so as to not be too sweet. We do cut back on the grey salt in the rub stage as the ribs were a little to salty for our taste when liberally applied. I believe the recipe has changed slightly in directions for the baking in the oven. We "shingle" the ribs while baking them and rotate them from the ends into the middle and turn them from top to bottom when they are turned so as to allow them to cook evenly. The current recipe says to stack them and rotate from top to bottom. I will continue to "shingle" while cooking in the oven. Looking forward to having them again this weekend with company!

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