Sunday, August 7, 2011

Baby Back Ribs with Jalapeno Apple Cider Mop Sauce

Adapted this recipe from Weber's Big Book of Grilling. The mop sauce is comprised primarily of apple cider with a bit of vinegar and brown sugar, and it's used to baste the ribs frequently as they are grilling. The ribs should be grilled indirectly (divide the charcoal evenly between both sides of the grill, leaving the center open; place the ribs over the center where there's no charcoal so they'll be cooked through indirect heat from the sides). The mop sauce is sweet & tangy with a hint of spice - really delicious. Make some extra mop sauce to serve on the side. 

6 cups apple cider
3/4 cup minced shallots (3-4 large shallots)
3 tbsp. seeded & minced jalapenos (2-3 jalapenos)
3/4 cup ketchup
6 tbsp. white wine vinegar
6 tbsp. tomato paste (or 3 tbsp. concentrated tomato paste)
3 tbsp. dark or golden brown sugar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
3-4 slabs baby back ribs, silver skin removed
Black pepper

1. In a saucepan, combine apple cider, minced shallots & jalapenos. Bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat until reduced to about 4 cups (20 minutes). Add ketchup, white wine vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, 3/4 tsp. kosher salt & 3/4 tsp. black pepper. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Can be made a day ahead (let cool and refrigerate until ready to use). Reserve 1 cup as a dipping sauce on the side. 

2. Take ribs out and season with salt & pepper. Let stand at room temperature 20-30 minutes before grilling. 

3. Grill over medium indirect heat (rib side down) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until meat is tender and has pulled back from the bones. Mop the ribs frequently with the mop sauce while they're grilling, except for the last 10 minutes of grilling. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving. 

4. Serve with reserved mop sauce and grilled veggies on the side (grilled zucchini or asparagus work great). 

Shallots & jalapenos.

Black pepper, ketchup. tomato paste, apple cider, and white wine vinegar.

Mop ingredients, measured out.

Boil the apple cider, minced shallots & jalapenos over medium high heat about 20 minutes, or until sauce is reduced to 4 cups. 

Add remaining mop ingredients to the apple cider mixture.

Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Set aside.

Grilled zucchini is a great side dish to this recipe (toss sliced zucchinis with olive oil, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic and grill until just tender). 

Season both side of the ribs with salt & pepper. Let stand at room temperature 20-30 minutes before grilling.

Grill over indirect medium heat (i.e., not directly over the charcoal), rib side down. 

Mop frequently with the mop sauce.

Let ribs rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve with grilled zucchini and extra mop sauce on the side.

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