Baby Back Ribs with Blackberry Jalapeño Sauce
Autumn is almost here and soon braised meats, soups and anything warming will be on everyone’s menu. The temperature has begun to drop and a long slow cooked meat sounds great for a cool lazy Sunday, but it is still summer and cool is a frigid 75º on the east coast. So for now, why now have the best of both worlds? These baby back ribs are slow cooked in the oven until the meat wants to pull away from the bone and then taken out to the grill to have a spicy sweet sauce seared right on. The last of the sweet blackberries from summer make these ribs perfect for the cooling transition into autumn.
1 Slab Baby Back Ribs
10-12 Sprigs of Thyme
Salt & Pepper
5 Strips Bacon diced
1 Yellow Onion diced
3 Cloves Garlic minced
2 Jalapeño sliced
2 Tbs Dijon
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
Drippings from the Meat
A lot of people hear that someone is making ribs and immediately think that they’re going to be so tough that eating your shoes may be easier. The muscle around any bone is always going to have a lot of connective tissue, which is what makes it so tough, and it takes a long, low temperature cooking process to break it down.
Preheat you oven to 250º
Spread the thyme sprigs over the ribs, season generously with salt and pepper, cover with foil, add about half a cup of water and let them bake for 2-1/2 – 3 hours. The foil is important because it will trap the steam created from water and ribs themselves, cooking them while preventing the ribs from drying out.
With roughly 20 minutes left with baking, begin the sauce. Cook the bacon over medium heat until it renders most of the fat out and then add the onions and jalapeños. Cook until the onions begin to become translucent and then add the garlic, Dijon, brown sugar and blackberries. Use your wooden spoon to squash some of the blackberries and cook until the mixture thickens slightly. Once the ribs are done, pour the drippings into the sauce and puree the mixture. I used a hand blender because I wanted an easy clean up, however I sent little spots of purple sauce all over the place and ended up cleaning the walls afterwards. I would suggest a regular blender or processor for pureeing the sauce.
Heat your grill to high. Brush the sauce over one side of the ribs and when the grill is ready, sear the ribs on the sauce side. Brush the other side and after about a minute flip the ribs. Do this 2-3 times per side until the sauce is thick and seared on.
Reserve any left over sauce for dipping.