Ribs. When I think about them, my eyes roll back, and my mouth starts to water. The way the meat falls off the bone; so sweet, so savory, so smoky. Few things are as simple but complex as the well-cooked rib.
So discovering that I can make ribs at home was a revelation. It's a simple technique. Marinating, followed by a couple of hours covered in a low oven, and then just a few more minutes uncovered to get those burnt edges. And they are tender, and delicious, and you made them all yourself without so much as a barbecue.
Chipotles are the perfect secret ingredient in the ultimate rib barbecue sauce because they themselves are already smoky. So, if you love the smoky flavor of barbecue, but want to make ribs in your kitchen, this is the recipe for you. I make a simple barbecue sauce from ketchup, onions, garlic, chipotles, and the adobo sauce in which they are packed. When you first taste the sauce, it'll seem far too hot. But after the ribs soak in it overnight, and once the sauce roasts and cooks down, it is only mildly hot, smoky, tangy, sticky. The meat falls off the bone. The edges are black and crisp. This recipe is a keeper.
About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 Spanish onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 14 ounces ketchup
- 7.5 ounces chipotle in adobo
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 6 pounds baby back ribs, separated
- Kosher salt
Heat the oil on medium-high, and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the ribs; turn heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Put the ribs and the sauce in a large plastic sealable bag, and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Arrange the ribs on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, season with salt, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, bring the barbecue sauce to a boil in a pot on the stove. Boil for 3 minutes, and set aside.
Uncover the ribs, turn them over, and bake an additional 30 minutes. Brush with barbecue sauce on both sides, and serve hot.