Sticky Fingers

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

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Its been a weekend of BBQ indulgence. As some of you many know I am engaged to a southern man and he just happens to come from a BBQ family. This past weekend we were in Washington, Georgia to celebrate his families 91st consecutive family reunion, one that is celebrated by cooking pork long and slow over hot coals on a humid August day. You get in line and you get pulled pork, slaw, stew, white bread, and sweet tea. “Seasoning” or bbq sauce is in a squeeze bottle on the table and dessert is in its own special room with the finest caramel cake, ambrosia, and banana pudding you will ever see. To say the least, I do not do much talking. I eat. I eat very well. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a few pictures from the weekend.

I did not know much about BBQ before moving to the South but I am happy to say I  have been a willing and eager student. This week’s recipe is  baby back ribs with a chipotle honey sauce. Its designed for the home cook, as any pit master would scoff at oven braising,  but it combines a little indoor cooking with a little outdoor cooking making for the right amount of  smoke, flavor, and bbq to help budding pit masters find their way.

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Barbecued Ribs with Honey-Chipotle

2 racks of pork baby back ribs
1 cup chicken stock
BBQ Spice Rub
Honey- Chipotle BBQ Sauce
About 2 cups of soaked hickory wood chips

BBQ Spice Rub

Yields 5 tablespoons or enough for 2 racks of ribs

2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside. Will keep for up to a month.

Honey-Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Yields about 1.5 cups

¼ medium white onion, diced
1 medium garlic clove, diced
1 tablespoon bacon fat or olive oil
1 chipotle pepper, plus about 1 teaspoon worth of the adobo sauce from the can (I recommend Embasa brand)
¾ cup ketchup
¼ cup worcestershire sauce
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
pinch of salt

In a small saucepot, heat the bacon fat or olive oil over low heat. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Place mixture into a blender and add remaining ingredients, puree until smooth. Pour mixture back into the saucepot and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste the barbecue sauce and adjust with more honey (for sweetness) or chipotle (for heat) to your preference.

To Prepare the Ribs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Season both of the racks of ribs with all of the BBQ rub. If you have time, season the night before to allow the spices and salt to penetrate into the meat, if not season them at least 1 hour before cooking. Place ribs into a pan that allows them to lie flat next to one another and that is at least 2 inches deep. Bring the chicken stock to a boil and pour into the pan with the ribs. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven, discard the foil and let cool at room temperature. When cool enough to handle remove ribs from pan and brush with the Honey-Chipotle BBQ sauce using as little or as much as you would like. I recommend about ½ cup of sauce per rack.

Prepare a charcoal grill. Burn the charcoal down until it begins to turn white, about 30 minutes or so. Scatter the soaked wood chips over the coals, and place the ribs on the grill grates. Close all grill vents to trap as much of the smoke as possible. Cook the ribs for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the ribs from the grill as to not let them fall apart. Serve and enjoy.

Here are a few pictures from this weekends BBQ!

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