The weekend wasn’t quite as relaxing as I’d hoped, but I met a lot of new people (I have to remind my very introverted self that this is actually a good thing) and discovered a new jambalaya recipe (more on that one later this week). But let’s go back a week to meal I had the previous weekend. I had a hankering for BBQ and though I could have gone to any number of places, I had gotten a rack of St. Louis ribs on sale at the store. I dug up a recipe that has been in my cooking arsenal for a number of years. Though it isn’t true BBQ in the sense that it doesn’t involve smoke or a grill, it’s easy as can be and yields a tender, flavorful rib that would rival that of any respectable BBQ joint. Because this requires a fair bit of oven time, this can be a tough recipe to make in the summer when temps are soaring and apartments are sweltering. But if you’re a glutton for punishment, I promise these will not disappoint.
Cheater Bourbon Ribs
Adapted from Dave Lieberman
2 racks baby back ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup steak sauce
1/2 cup bourbon or good dark beer
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon regular or grainy Dijon mustard
2 pinches red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix steak sauce, bourbon, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt until sugar dissolves.
Cut the racks of ribs in half crosswise. Rub the ribs, paying special attention to the meaty side, with 1/2 cup of the sauce. Lay the rib pieces meat side down in an 11 by 13-inch baking dish. The pieces will overlap slightly.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the meat begins to pull away from the ends of the bones and the ribs are just tender, about 2 hours (for baby back ribs) or 3-4 hours (for St. Louis ribs).
Uncover ribs and bake an additional 30 minutes. Sauce will thicken. Carefully remove ribs from pan and brush with remaining sauce. Return ribs to oven and broil for a few minutes. (The time will vary depending on your broiler/oven. Keep a close eye on the ribs because the sugar in the sauce makes it very easy for the sauce to burn.)
Let the ribs rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting them into 1 or 2-bone pieces. Put out the rest of the sauce for dipping or brush it over the ribs.