Having thoroughly enjoyed the Chipotle Pulled Pork I made a few weeks ago, I decided to hit up the Homesick Texan blog again when I found myself with 4 pounds of spareribs and no grill to do them right. Surely there must be SOME way I can make enjoyable ribs without smoking and barbecuing them for 36 hours. As it turned out, Ms. Texan had just the thing - something called "Dr. Pepper Ribs". I'm not a big fan of Dr. Pepper (tastes like fancy Cherry Coke), but this blogger raved about its BBQ power, so who was I to turn up my nose. Amazingly, the kit and kaboodle only took 3 hours and I was able to do it in the oven. The oven part was a bit of a mixed blessing, as it was already hot enough in my apartment, but for convenience, you can't beat it.
For this recipe, I made both a rub and a BBQ sauce/glaze, and here's what you'll need for both.
For the rub
1/4 cup of salt
1/4 cup of black pepper
1/4 cup of brown sugar
4 teaspoons of mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
2 teaspoons of chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon of allspice
I had to go and buy mustard powder, but all the rest I had kicking around from my last BBQ experiment, so it was a pretty painless process. I was a bit taken aback by all the salt and pepper, but tried not to overthink things.
Mix all this together and pat into the meat. Then wrap it in Saran wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. I left mine overnight and didn't notice any problems. Supposedly salt starts to "cure" meat after 6 hours, which will give it a ham/bacon flavor, but mine seemed just fine. Not that I would have minded some bacon notes.
Here's the bouncing bundle of meat fresh out of the fridge.
Not terribly exciting/appetizing at this juncture, I'll concede, but just you wait. After adding 1/4 cup of Dr. Pepper to the pan and covering it with tinfoil, I slid this in the oven at 300 degrees for 90 minutes, meat side up.
While this cooked, I started on the glaze. Here's what you'll need.
2 cups of Dr Pepper
1 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup of mustard
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of molasses
2-4 teaspoons of chipotle powder
Those Chipotle flakes I bought a couple months ago have seen a lot of action lately, and I can't get enough of their smokey, spicy flavor. As such, I added 4 heaping teaspoons to the sauce. In a large saucepan, I brought the ingredients to a simmer and left it to reduce into a thick sauce for 30 minutes. The recipe used the adjective "syrupy" but mine just looked like a barbecue sauce. It tasted good, so I didn't sweat it.
After 90 minutes, take out the ribs and remove the foil. Spread the sauce on both sides and cook, uncovered for another 30 minutes, meat side up (still). Repeat this process one more time, leaving some sauce for the final step. The glaze cooked right into the ribs and smelled fantastic.
After the 2nd time, glaze both sides a final time, and place each side under the broiler for ~5 minutes to give them a good char and crunch. When they popped out, they looked pretty glorious and my apartment smelled like some Mississippi BBQ Shack.
All that remained was the serving and enjoyment. Make sure to have plenty of napkins and floss nearby. You may also want a little more BBQ sauce to throw on top to keep things moist, but they were quite delicious on their own. What BBQ item should I tackle next? I'm thinking brisket. I'll keep you posted.