JALAPENO JERK BABY BACK RIBS
Yield: Serves 4 really hungry people or 8 folks with average appetites.
2 to 3 hours for marinating the ribs
For the Ribs:
4 racks baby back pork ribs, (6 to 8 pounds total)
1 quart pineapple juice
1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
4 to 8 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
Plastic gloves for handling jalapeno peppers
For the Glaze:
2 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dry Jerk Seasoning
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1½ tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
1½ tablespoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
1½ teaspoons onion powder
1½ teaspoons dried thyme
1½ teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon habanero chile powder or cayenne pepper
You’ll also need:
Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of each rack of ribs: Turn a rack meat side down. Insert a sharp implement, such as the tip of a meat thermometer, under the membrane (the best place to start is right next to the first rib bone). Using a dishcloth or pliers to gain a secure grip, pull off the membrane. Repeat with the remaining racks.
Place the ribs in a large non-reactive roasting pan. Pour the 1-quart of pineapple juice over them and add the cilantro and jalapenos. Let the ribs marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 2 to 3 hours.
Make the glaze: Place the 2 cups pineapple juice, the vinegar, brown sugar, butter, and black pepper in a heavy saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Let the glaze boil until syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Set the glaze aside.
Drain the marinade off the ribs and discard the marinade. Blot the ribs dry with paper towels, then sprinkle the jerk seasoning all over them on both sides, patting it onto the meat with your fingertips.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center.
When ready to cook, place the ribs, preferably on a rib rack, in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the ribs until tender, 1¼ to 1½ hours. When the ribs are done, they’ll be handsomely browned and the meat will have shrunk back about 1/4 inch from the ends of the bones. After 45 minutes brush the ribs with the glaze and brush them 2 or 3 more times before serving. If using a charcoal grill, after 1 hour you’ll need to add 12 fresh coals to each side.
Transfer the cooked ribs to a platter or cutting board. Serve them as whole racks cut the racks into pieces, or carve them into individual ribs. Serve the glaze alongside.
Ribs are considered the ultimate in American barbecue. Tender, sweet and smoky and with a little bite, these baby back ribs take more time to prepare and the ingredient list looks long, but they are worth the effort.
Calories 739 calories; Protein 38 grams; Fat 20 grams; Sodium 444 milligrams; Cholesterol 77 milligrams; Saturated Fat 4 grams; Carbohydrates 14 grams; Fiber 2 grams
Adapted from BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing)
Recipe courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about The Other White Meat, visit TheOtherWhiteMeat.com