Super Secret Baby Back Pork Ribs

Yield: 3 cups sauce
Serves: 4

A retired cook shared this secret with me, because I promised no to reveal the name of the restaurant that made these famous. When created in their original setting the ribs were specially smoked, but this backyard version is just as irresistibly delicious. Serve them with crusty hollows of sourdough garlic bread (see Note.)


1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup cider vinegar
2 cups tomato sauce
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
¼ teaspoon celery salt
Pinch of allspice
1 Tablespoon freshly grated onion
2 Tablespoons pure ground hot red chile
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or pequin quebrado (this is preferable, if you can get it)
4 pounds baby back ribs, in uncut racks

To Prepare the Sauce

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the ingredients through the cayenne pepper and simmer, uncovered, over low heat until the sauce is thickened. Set the sauce aside until you are ready to use it.

To Barbeque the Ribs

1. This barbecue sauce also works well as a marinade. About 2 to 4 hours before you are planning to cook the meat, place the racks of ribs n a roasting pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. You may need to divide the meat between two pans. To marinate use only ½ to 2/3 of the sauce and spoon it over the meat, making sure both sides are well covered. Of the remaining sauce, reserve half to serve with the cooked ribs Reserve the rest to use as a baste during the cooking.

2. Let the marinating ribs sit, uncovered, and turn after each hour. Spoon sauce over the racks after each turn. Do not refrigerate the ribs during the marinating time as refrigeration slows down the meat’s ability to absorb flavors

3. When you are ready to cook the meat, remove the ribs from the marinade. Add the marinade t the sauce you reserved.

4. Position the grill rack 3 inches above the heat source. Place the racks of ribs on the grill and sear the meat for 5 minutes per side.

5. Remove the meat from the grill, raise the rack another 2 inches, and cover it with a layer of heavy-duty broiler foil. Puncture the foil to make ventilation holes.

6. Place the ribs on the foil and generously spoon on the reserved basting sauce. Allow the ribs to cook for 15 minutes before turning them and saucing the second side.

7. Once the second side is basted, cook the ribs for an additional 15 minute before turning and saucing again.

8. Allow the ribs to grill for 10 minutes then turn and sauce them one final time. After 10 more minutes both sides of the ribs should have a crisp glaze.

9. Transfer the racks to a carving board, cut the ribs apart into easy-to-serves portions and pile them on platters for guests to help themselves. Serve with the sauce specifically reserved fro table use.

Note: For an average, foot-long loaf of garlic bread: In a small saucepan melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter with ¼ cup olive oil over low heat, then add freshly minced garlic to taste. Raise the heat and brown the garlic for a few seconds. Halve the bread lengthwise, brush the butter and garlic mixture on each half and toast them in the oven over the grill.

 See more of Jane's Southwest Recipes and sugggestions for cooking with chiles.

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