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Cherry-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

Cherry-Glazed Baby Back Ribs 2.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Smoke Signals May 17, 2017

In San Antonio at Two Bros. BBQ, pitmaster Laura Loomis serves baby back ribs in a cherry glaze; this recipe makes a cross between a sauce and a glaze that can be served at the table.

You’ll need 1 cup of apple, pecan, oak or cherry wood chips or 6 fist-size chunks; replenish coals as necessary.

Make Ahead: You’ll probably have spice rub left over. It keeps well in a sealed container in the pantry for up to a month.

2 - 4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2-4 servings

  • For the rub and ribs
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic (garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 rack (about 2 1/2 pounds) baby back ribs
  • For the glaze
  • 1 cup cherry preserves
  • 6 ounces tart cherry juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 2 tablespoons juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo (from a can), diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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For the rub and meat: Whisk together the paprika, salt, granulated garlic and onion, ancho chile pepper, light brown sugar, and the cayenne, black and white black peppers in a bowl, until lump-free. The yield is about 2/3 cup.

For the glaze: Combine the cherry preserves, cherry juice, lemon zest and juice, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, butter, diced chipotle, salt and pepper in a large pan over medium heat, stirring until well incorporated. Once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to form a slightly thickened sauce.

Transfer to a food processor; puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl for use later to baste the ribs. The yield is about 2 cups.

Place the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet, meat side down. You’ll see a thin membrane on the bone side; some say this prevents flavor from penetrating the meat and is papery to chew on. But pulling it off can be a little tricky, and a lot of ribs are served with the membrane still on. The choice is yours. If you opt to remove it, slide a small, sharp knife beneath the membrane to cut it enough so that you can grab it with your hands and pull it off. The best place to insert the knife is in the midsection, so that you can tear off one side and then the other.

Coat both sides of the ribs with the rub, working it into the meat. (You may have some rub left over.)

Prepare the grill for indirect heat. If using a gas grill, turn the heat to high. Drain the chips and put them in a smoker box or foil packet poked with a few fork holes to release the smoke; set it between the grate and the briquettes, close to the flame. When you see smoke, reduce the heat to medium (375 to 400 degrees). Turn off the burners on one side.

If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on one side of the grill. For a medium fire, you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the coals for 6 or 7 seconds. Drain the chips and scatter them over the coals. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Set the rack of ribs meat side down directly over the coals; grill for 5 minutes, then turn them over (bone side down) and repeat.

Move the ribs to the cool side of the grill, bone side down. Close the lid. Smoke the meat until it is browned and tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

In the last half hour, baste the meat with the cherry glaze at least three times, or every 7 to 10 minutes.

Use tongs to transfer the ribs to a cutting board; let them rest for about 10 minutes before cutting them apart between the bones.

Pile onto a platter. Serve warm, drizzled with more of the glaze.

Recipe Source

From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.

Tested by Andrew Sikkenga.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 4, using half the rub and glaze): 850

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 53g 82%

Saturated Fat: 20g 100%

Cholesterol: 205mg 68%

Sodium: 1170mg 49%

Total Carbohydrates: 36g 12%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 24g

Protein: 55g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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