Saturday, January 10, 2015

Oven Roasted, Coffee-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

A Cure for Winter

Baby back ribs are a little slice of heaven that often get overlooked when the thermometer is well below zero. Who wants to go out and tend a grill or smoker with a 25-below wind chill? Not I. But I know that oven roasted ribs are every bit as good as the ones I make in my smoker. I've been making them for years in my oven with just ribs, mustard and Famous Dave's Rib Rub:

For those of you with grills and smokers, you will already know how to cook up baby backs on your weapon of choice. But today's recipe is for the folks that want to stay warm and sip some Zinfandel by the fire while dinner is slow roasting in the oven...and bring a little taste of summer to the month of January.

There are two things that make this recipe extraordinary. First is the coffee rub. Make sure you use a dark roast coffee as this will provide the most contrast to the brown sugar and the sweet pork meat. The second thing that makes this recipe extraordinary is the homemade Coffee BBQ Sauce. You will use it to brush on the ribs during cooking and then to dip your cooked ribs in while you are eating. This wonderful cure for winter was created by Jamie Purviance and it serves four.


2 meaty racks of baby back ribs

For the Rub
2 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Coffee BBQ Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups minced yellow onion
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee (preferably dark roast)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon mustard powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
  2. Combine rub ingredients. Season racks of ribs all over with the rub.
  3. Place the ribs on a rack over a rimmed cooking sheet and cook for 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cooked until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups (approximately 16 minutes). Remove from heat. (Leave sauce as is or, if you prefer it smooth, use a blender to puree the sauce.)
  5. After 2 hours, remove ribs from oven and brush both sides with the sauce. Return ribs to oven and cook for another 30 minutes.
  6. Remove ribs from oven and cut the racks between the bones into individual ribs. Serve with remaining sauce.

Wine pairing: A nice big, fruity California Zinfandel

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