Saturday, May 28, 2011

Homemade BBQ Ribs - Summer is here!

With a few days of some sunny warm weather it means it's peak grilling season! Forget about going out for dinner - we can have a feast right at home. We had a giant rack of baby back ribs on hand and with Bobby Flay's book, Boy Meets Grill, I got this idea from there. It was originally a recipe for chicken, but I liked the sound of the ingredients and thought, why not put it on the ribs instead.

Sherry Vinegar Brown Sugar BBQ Ribs
with grilled italian citrus vegetables and grilled potatoes

Sherry Vinegar Brown Sugar BBQ Ribs
1 TB olive oil
1/2 cup onion, minced/finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sherry wine
1 TB dark brown sugar
2 tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
Full Rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs

This recipe is pretty easy though time consuming. You just make the bbq sauce, let it cool, marinade the ribs for a few hours and grill for about 20 mins over medium high heat on grill, then flip the rack over and cook for another 10 minutes. We weren't sure if it was the ribs themselves or the marinade, but they were delicious if I may say so myself. Very juicy, flavorful and had the perfectly burnt flavor.

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over med-high heat and once hot, add the onion and garlic, sauteing for 4-5 minutes. Add the vinegar and sherry and let the liquid cook down by about half - won't take too long - maybe 8-10 minutes.
2. Add the brown sugar, chopped tomatoes, chicken broth and paprika. Give it a good stir and bring the sauce to a boil. Once it's boiling turn the heat down to low and let simmer for a good 20 mins. This should help to thicken the sauce.
3. Add the liquid to a food processor and blender and blend well, which create a less chunky, more uniform marinade and brings all of the flavors together.
4. The original recipe suggested I cook over low heat again for another 20 minutes to thicken some more, but I didn't have the time so I skipped that step and my sauce was plenty thick once it cooled and it was time to marinade the ribs.
5. Be sure to let the marinade cool before using it on the pork. You don't want to pour hot marinade on raw meat - it will start the cooking process. So let it sit and get to room temp, or put it in the fridge, which will help the sauce to cool down faster.
6. Pour the marinade all over the ribs, being sure to turn the ribs over and get the sauce on both sides. Throw the ribs back in the fridge and let marinade for at least a couple hours. Mine marinated from about 2 til close to 6, so a good four hours.

For the other grilling items, you can make whatever you'd like - but the grilled vegetables are a staple in our house almost every time we make a dinner on the grill. Choose a mix of any veggies you like, add a little italian dressing, squeeze half of a fresh lemon, some salt and pepper and a nice big spoonful of garlic. Mix together and that can "marinade" too until you're ready to put it on the grill. This grill "basket" is my favorite grill tool - you can use it for cooking veggies, like you see here, or for seafood - shrimp and fish in particular.
I also did some simple sliced potatoes - both sweet and white. I grilled them directly on the grill first to get that smoky flavor and grill marks, but then put them inside some tinfoil to help speed the cooking process up. Overall a great meal on the grill and makes me wish I could grill back in the city at my apt. But alas, there's that stupid rule about no grills on wooden decks. Too bad.
Deliciously burnt!

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