Jack Daniels or Canadian Club — choose your booze wisely for these finger-licking ribs.
If I can give one culinary tip it would be to never skimp out on the quality of your ingredients. Even when you are experimenting or trying out a recipe for the first time, don’t cut corners. I got the ribs from a local, quality butcher, and probably cost me twice as much as at the grocery store, but the quality is incomparable. If you’re going to do it, do it right– no excuses.
Lecture over, onto the recipe:
Whiskey Glaze Ribs Ingredients & Directions:
Rib Spice Rub: (yields ~8.5 tablespoons of seasoning, use as needed.) - 4 tablespoons kosher salt - 1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper - 1 tablespoon dried onion - 1 1/2 teaspoons dehydrated garlic - 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes - 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme - 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet or spicy paprika - 1 1/2 teaspoons dried mustard seed.
Combine all ingredients, and crush with a mortar and pestle, or spice grinder. Season liberally, enough for four to six racks of ribs– adjust the recipe as needed, or save the rest in an airtight container for later.
Whiskey Glaze: (makes ~ 3 cups, enough for 2 large rib racks) - 1 cup whiskey (I used Canadian Club… cook with your whiskey of choice; Jack Daniel’s works well too) - 1 cup ketchup - 1/2 cup dark brown sugar - 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar - 1 tablespoon lemon juice - 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce (sub Worcestershire sauce if preferred) - 3 cloves garlic, minced (adjust to taste…heck, I used 5) - 1 teaspoon yellow mustard - salt and pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan, and stir until incorporated. Simmer over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring often, taking caution not to burn the sauce. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can make this sauce a few days ahead of time, giving flavors time to develop. Always use this sauce toward the end of the cooking, so it doesn’t burn.
Guidelines and tips for preparing ribs:
- The concave surface of the ribs (“the inside”) has a thin white membrane that coats the ribs– this membrane prevents any seasonings from penetrating the meat. Gently remove the membrane by inserting a spoon between the membrane and the ribs, and carefully peel back. You can always use a sharp paring knife, just be careful because this membrane could be tough to remove.
- Some people prefer to boil their ribs before barbecuing or oven baking the ribs. I use the oven-steaming method, which I find shortens the cooking time of the ribs, and eases prep:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375′F. Line a baking sheet with foil, and fill 1/2 way up with warm water. Slice half a lemon, and place them on the bottom of the pan– use the juice of the other half to season the water.
2. Carefully lay your seasoned ribs, concave (bone) side down, in the water-citrus bath. Carefully wrap the baking pan in tin foil, creating a tent to allow for steam to build up. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully open the foil tent– steam will escape, so take caution, and gently unwrap the foil from the baking sheet. If there is water at the bottom of the baking sheet, carefully drain it out. Using a pastry brush, liberally glaze the ribs with the whiskey sauce on both sides.
4. Lower temperature to 325′F, return to the oven uncovered, and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and reglaze the ribs, returning them to the oven once again. I repeat this step 3 times, for a total of ~30 minutes, ensuring that the ribs are well glazed so they don’t dry out.
* If you are a barbeque master, you can finish the ribs on the grill instead of the oven.
Allow to cool slightly before portioning off the ribs. Enjoy