Monday, June 15, 2009

Honey Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Whiskey Marinade


I never liked ribs. I always found them too fatty, too chewy, too tough, too.... gross. I give them a go every year or so, at restaurants, sworn-by family recipes, etc. and am always - always -disappointed.

Every year we host a BBQ for The Spouse's co-workers. This year we had 20 people over (plus 4 kids and 2 dogs). The theme was "BEE-BEE-Q" in honor of one of the co-workers having adopted a colony of bees and fostering them on my sister's prairie. So there was lots of honey-based items. Honey punch, honey beer (leinie's) and I found a recipe for honey-glazed ribs. So I decided to make them... with one big change.

Unfortunately the locusts...uhm.. guests! moved thru before I could photograph them. Clearly I wasn't the only one who was impressed! Which means I just have to make them another time.

Honey Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Whiskey Marinade

3 racks baby back ribs (about 5 pounds)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 whiskey
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Honey Glaze

1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp hot water
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red pepper flakes, preferably Korean
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp sugar

Marinate the ribs: Arrange the rib racks in a large glass or ceramic baking dish, overlapping them slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the whiskey, honey, ginger, white pepper, sesame oil, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour the marinade over the ribs and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the ribs on the baking sheet, meaty side up. Roast for about 2 hours, until tender.

Make the glaze: Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat. Add honey mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and reduce until thickened. Remove from heat.

Baste the ribs with the honey mixture and roast for another 15 minutes, until browned and glossy. Remove the ribs from the oven and baste again with the honey mixture.

Preheat a grill. Grill the ribs over moderately high heat, turning once, basting on each side with the glaze, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes. Transfer the racks to a cutting board and cut into individual ribs. Serve immediately.

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