Memorial Day marks, in many parts of the United States, the start of outdoor grilling season, and the long holiday weekend affords you the time to do some proper barbecuing. Kenny Callaghan, executive chef and partner at New York's Blue Smoke, provided this flavorful recipe for baby back ribs that are seasoned with a savory spice rub, then started in the oven and finished on the grill. We've also included an excellent barbecue sauce recipe. And because barbecue and Zinfandel have a natural affinity, we've put together a selection of 9 recently rated Zinfandels to pour at the pincic table.
BABY BACK RIBS
Rib recipe by chef Kenny Callaghan of Blue Smoke; sauce recipe adapted from Steven Raichlen's How to Grill (Workman 2001).
For the rub:
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
• 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
• 1 teaspoon chile powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon celery salt
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
For the meat:
• 2 full racks baby back ribs, skin removed
For the barbecue sauce: (you may also use your favorite recipe or prepared sauce):
• 2 cups ketchup
• 1/4 cup cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
• 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons molasses
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 1/2 tablespoons Tabasco
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large bowl, combine all the rub ingredients and mix well. Place both racks of ribs on a cutting board or wood slab. Gently massage the rub mixture into the ribs, making sure to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Pre-heat oven to 300°. Place ribs on baking sheet in pre-heated oven. Ribs should cook for two hours, or until tender.
3. While the pork cooks, make the barbecue sauce. Combine the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, molasses, mustard, Tabasco, chili powder, liquid smoke and black pepper in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until sauce is dark, thick and rich. Adjust sweetness, sourness and hot pepper to taste.
4. Heat your outdoor grill to high heat. In a small saucepan, warm the barbecue sauce over low heat. Remove the ribs from the oven and transfer to the grill. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Brush the warmed barbecue sauce over the meat and cook the ribs for 2 minutes more on each side. Remove from the grill and let sit 5 minutes.
5. Using a sharp knife, cut ribs in between bones. Serve immediately. For saucier ribs, apply a second coat of warmed sauce just before serving. Serves 6 to 8.
ZINFANDELS FOR MEMORIAL DAY
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