Michael Chiarello’s Babyback Ribs with Espresso Barbecue Sauce

Michael Chiarello's Babyback Ribs with Espresso Barbecue Sauce
This recipe is from Michael Chiarello and updated by me. This is a great recipe for a crowd as you can make the ribs a couple of days in advance and store in the refrigerator until serving day. Then just bring to room temperature, coat with the BBQ sauce and finish on the grill for 15 to 30 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings. Multiply to fit your crowd.

Ingredients and Directions:

  • 2 racks baby back pork ribs (about 4 to 6 ribs per person)
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Espresso Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cut each rack of ribs in half along the bone if needed to fit in your refrigerator or on the grill.

Salt and pepper liberally on both sides and pat spices into the meat. Make sure to over season the ribs, because part of the rub will inevitably come off in the pan. On a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, stack the ribs close together, about 3 layers high. Place in the oven for 2 hours, shifting the bottom layer of ribs to the top every 30 minutes until they are tender and almost falling off the bone.

Bring the ribs back to near room temperature before grilling. One half hour before serving, transfer ribs to a preheated grill (if using coals, make sure they have burnt down to an ember). Brush ribs with Espresso Sauce and close grill. Continue to turn and brush the ribs with sauce every 10 minutes, about 3 more times. If your grill is too hot, barbecue them to just until they begin to form a crust.

Once each rack is removed from the grill, brush with just a little barbecue sauce if you like. Let the ribs rest until cool enough to handle and then cut the ribs between to bones to create individual servings.

Espresso Barbecue Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons mashed and minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups honey
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of strong coffee or instant espresso

Mash garlic with the side of a knife and then mince finely to release oils.

Add olive oil to a preheated saute pan. Add the garlic and saute until it gets light brown, about 1 minute. Add cider vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, and honey and stir well. Add a pinch of coarse sea salt, then whisk in the coffee. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.

Let cool and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Yield: about 5 to 6 cups

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