I found my new favorite rib recipe, from the June 2010 Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Their recipe used 3 slabs of baby back ribs, though, and for just hubby and me this was too much. So I tweaked the ingredient amounts for 1 slab, enough for us for two meals. The number of servings will vary according to what you’re serving with the ribs and how big your appetites are.
I love the perfectly balanced, just-sweet-enough, just-hot-enough flavors in the rub and glaze and the smokiness from the wood chips.
The recipe is specific in the chile type: ancho. If you don’t have ancho chile powder and can’t find it, you can substitute another chile, but you’ll need to know where the other chile places on the heat scale of chiles. For instance, if you substitute chipotle chiles, you’ll need less because chipotles are hotter than anchos. I didn’t have ancho chile powder, but I did have some dried ancho chiles that I washed, seeded, chopped and ground in my spice grinder. I probably should have left the seeds in, because anchos are fairly mild anyway. If you use the ingredients as they’re listed in the recipe, you’ll have fairly mild ribs. If you want heat, add some chipotle chile powder.
|Red Chile-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs with Fresh Ginger Glaze |
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, June 2010
Rating: 10 out of 10
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1-1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder
3/4 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. Diamond kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. granulated garlic
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1 slab meaty baby back ribs, about 2-1/2 lbs.
3-4 handfuls of hickory wood chips, soaked in water at least 30 minutes
FRESH GINGER GLAZE:
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp. ketchup
1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
Make the glaze: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine the glaze ingredients. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Prepare the ribs: With mortar and pestle, or spice grinder, grind together chile powder, paprika, sugar, salt, cumin, garlic and black pepper. Using a dull dinner knife, slide the tip under the membrane covering the back of ribs. Lift and loosen membrane until it breaks loose from the meat. Using paper towels to grip, pull membrane off. Season ribs all over with the spice rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate three hours or up to overnight. Remove ribs from fridge 1/2 hour before grilling.
Prepare grill for indirect cooking over low (275F - 300F) heat. For a 3-burner grill, this means firing up the left and right burners and leaving the middle burner off. Just before grilling ribs, drain 2 handfuls of wood chips and place them on coals or in smoker box of a gas grill. Position the chips so the smoke will permeate the ribs. For us, that meant placing the smoker box on the left rear grate. When the chips begin to smoke, remove plastic wrap and place ribs over the unlit burner. Close lid. Cook about 45 minutes, periodically checking the grill thermostat without opening the lid, to be sure temperature stays at 300F. After 45 minutes, add some water to chips and rotate the ribs for even cooking. Close lid. Cook another 45 minutes. Remove chips. Lay ribs on sheet of foil. Brush lightly with glaze on both sides. Wrap foil tightly and place again on unlit burner. Close lid. Cook 30-45 minutes, or till ribs are tender.
Yield: 2-4 servings
TIP: Have rub and glaze left over? Try it on chicken – delicioso!