Michael Chiarello's Babyback Ribs with Espresso Barbecue Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 50 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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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:

4 tablespoons mashed and minced garlic

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 cups ketchup

2 cups honey

Grey salt

2 demitasse cups espresso (or about 1/2 cup of strong coffee or instant espresso)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Espresso Barbecue Sauce:

  1. Fresh ground black pepper
  2. Mash garlic with the side of a knife and then mince finely to release oils.
  3. 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.
  4. Let cool and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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