The Recipes

Spice-Rubbed Babyback Ribs

There are a thousand ways to approach cooking ribs.  I view cooking ribs a bit like I do cooking chili.  There are so many different approaches, and I feel like I want to keep experimenting and never make the exact same version.  I'll leave perfecting a single version to all of the great pitmasters and competitive bbqers out there.

Spice-Rubbed Babyback Ribs


- 1/2 rack of babyback ribs (I made a rack of three for myself)
- 3 T. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1 tsp. ancho chile powder
- 1 T. dijon mustard
- 2 T. bourbon
- 2 T. Worstershire sauce
- 1/4 c. ketchup
- a few grates of fresh horseradish
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno, grated
- 1 bottle of lager (or other liquid)
- salt
- pepper
- 1 scallion, chopped for garnish

The day before you want to make the ribs, combine 1 T. of brown sugar with the garlic powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, ancho chile powder, salt, and pepper.  Rub the mixture all over the ribs.  Store them overnight in the refrigerator.

The day of, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Put the ribs in an oven-safe dish.  Pour the beer into the bottom of the pan.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for an hour.

While the ribs cook, combine the ketchup, dijon, bourbon, Worstershire, horseradish, garlic, jalapeno, and remaining brown sugar in a pot.  Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for at least 15-20 minutes.  

After an hour, remove the foil from the ribs.  Baste them with half of the bbq sauce and cook another 20 minutes.

Plate the ribs, brushing on the remaining bbq sauce.  Garnish with the scallions.