Labor Day is over, the kids are back in school and our attention will soon be focusing on Fall. My to-do lists are starting to contain things like “choose cocktails for the Halloween party” or “plan liquor store searches for the fall bourbon allocations” or “start researching turkey recipes”.
As it turns out we still have over a month of excellent weather and what I really should be doing is spending as much time outside as possible. If you like BBQ, and if you like bourbon, here is a great way to celebrate the last couple weeks of summer. Light up the BBQ, invite some friends over, and open that bottle of bourbon you have been saving. This recipe just might create that special occasion:
End of Summer Ribs with Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- 3 full slabs of baby back pork ribs (remove the membrane or have your butcher do it for you)
- yellow mustard
- BBQ rub ( use your favorite, such as Bad Byron’s Butt Rub )
- disposable aluminum pan
- plastic wrap
Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup bourbon (use something interesting, but inexpensive, such as Four Roses Yellow, Old Grand-dad, or Wild Turkey)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hickory liquid smoke
- 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp tabasco (+/-)
Puree onion and garlic. In a medium saucepan heat 1/4 cup bourbon and add puree. Heat through, then add all the rest of the ingredients. Stir to dissolve brown sugar. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Let cool and strain (unless you like it chunky), refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours to let the flavors mingle.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup apple cider
- 4 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon BBQ rub
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the cider, soy sauce and BBQ rub over medium heat. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the bourbon.
- Keep warm while using on the ribs.
- Cut ribs into 6 equal sections and coat evenly with yellow mustard. (Step 1)
- Coat ribs generously with BBQ rub and wrap in plastic wrap – store overnight in refrigerator (Step 2)
- Remove the ribs from the fridge at least 45 minutes before cooking – allow them to become room temperature
- Prepare your BBQ or smoker for indirect medium-low heat, or about 250 degrees. A water pan under the grill rack is a good idea if you have the room. (Step 3)
- Arrange the ribs upright in a rib rack and cook for approximately 4 hours until the thickest internal temperature is 165 degrees. Apply mop generously every 45 minutes during the cook. Have a glass of bourbon handy to sip on as you tend to the meat… (Step 4 & 5)
- Remove ribs, wrap in foil and add a little mop to each packet – return to grill and cook 30-45 minutes (Step 6)
- Unwrap ribs and apply Bourbon BBQ sauce to both sides – cook for 20 more minutes until sauce is glazed (Step 7)
- Remove from grill and let rest under foil for 15-20 minutes before serving. (Step 8)
You’ll have plenty of sauce to serve on the side for bone dunking. Ribs are a labor of love, but your friends will surely appreciate your hard work. Make a round of your favorite drinks and enjoy wonderful BBQ, great friends, and excellent bourbon!