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Chile-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

Serves: Makes about 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • For the ribs:
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 racks baby back pork ribs (about 4 pounds)

  • For the glaze:
  • 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 chipotle chiles in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon sauce, or more based on spice preference (use caution as the chiles are very spicy)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Procedures:

Pork ribs are often slow-cooked on a grill or in a smoker, but knowing how impractical that can be for a home cook, this recipe offers a simpler approach that delivers tender, flavor-packed ribs that don’t require constant tending. First, the ribs are fully cooked in the oven until tender, and then the ribs are brushed with a spicy honey glaze and finished quickly on the grill.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

For the ribs: Combine the spices together in a small bowl. Remove the silver skin from the underside of the ribs by sliding your fingers under the thin membrane and pulling it off. Repeat with the second rack. Rub the ribs with the seasoning on both sides. Place in a single layer in a large roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Place the roasting pan into the oven and bake until the ribs are tender, about 1½ hours.

For the sauce: In the bowl of a food processor, add all the glaze ingredients and purée. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook glaze uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes.

For grilling: Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Grill the ribs on each side for 5 minutes. Using a silicone brush, baste ribs generously with glaze and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. (The sauce goes on at the end because it contains sugar and you don't want to burn your ribs.)

To serve: Let ribs rest 5 minutes before slicing into individual ribs. Serve ribs with extra glaze on the side.

Recipe developed for Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes

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