I have your weekend all planned out for you.
Honey Chipotle Baby Back Ribs.
Anything else you do or accomplish this weekend (I’m installing new flooring) will be secondary once you’ve had these ribs.
Actually, you’ll have plenty of time to spare this weekend because these ribs are a snap to make. They cook in the oven and are fairly fuss free. If you have a grill and want to finish the ribs outside, great. If not, slide them under the broiler like I did and you’ll still get plenty of crispy edges.
Yes there is a counter full of ingredients, but they’re all pretty simple things…most of which you probably already have in your pantry or refrigerator.
Here’s what you need:
Baby Back Ribs, Ketchup, Honey, Soy Sauce/Tamari, Olive Oil, Worcestershire Sauce, Dijon Mustard, Apple Cider Vinegar, Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, Garlic, Dried Oregano, and Pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
First we make the sauce. Grab about 8-10 cloves of garlic, remove the skins, and finely chop or press with a garlic press.
Place the pressed garlic in a medium bowl and add all of the liquid ingredients – 1 cup ketchup, 2/3 cup honey, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar,
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and 4 Tablespoons soy sauce (or Tamari for GF folks). I always like to use the low sodium soy sauce so it doesn’t get overly salty.
Season with 2 Tablespoons of dried oregano and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
Chipotles in Adobo Sauce are little smokey jalapeño bundles of goodness. Both the peppers and the accompanying sauce pack a huge wallop of flavor.
To keep them from also packing a huge wallop of fiery heat, I like to remove the seeds and inner membranes.
(Notice the glove. Always a good idea when you’re working with peppers…unless you’re tougher than me.)
Take the seeds out of 3 of the chipotle peppers and finely chop them.
Remove the rest of the peppers from the can and place them in a freezer bag for another recipe.
Add the 3 seeded chopped chipotles and the remaining adobo sauce from the can. You should have about 1/4 cup of the sauce in a small, 7 oz. can.
Give the bowl of sauce a good stir or whisk to combine.
Very important step! Line a big baking pan (like a pyrex..something with sides) with foil. This sauce bakes into a mess you don’t want to have burnt onto your pan.
Place a little of the sauce in bottom of your lined baking dish, add 4 pounds of baby back ribs, and pour the rest of the sauce over the top.
Work the ribs around in the sauce a little bit to be sure the entire surface of both sides is covered in sauce.
Cover the pan with another piece of foil, sealing up the entire top and sides of the pan.
Marinate the ribs in the sauce for 30 minutes at room temperature. (You can marinate them longer in the refrigerator if you want to make these ahead, but allow them to come back to room temp before cooking.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes, remove the foil and use a big spoon to baste the tops of the ribs thoroughly with sauce from the pan.
At this point your house smells amazzzzzing!
Put the ribs back in the oven, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes so they can get browned and sticky.
As I said, you could finish these on the grill, but honestly, I think they would make a fairly big mess. Plus the meat is fall off the bone tender at this point so moving them to the grill might make them fall apart.
To get those nice crusty bits, turn on the broiler and put the pan up on the rack closest to the broiler. Watch them closely (about 5 minutes in my broiler) so they don’t burn but don’t be afraid of a few nice dark brown bits.
Let the ribs rest for a few minutes, then cut them apart and pile them on a big platter.
What is lacking in food styling here is SERIOUSLY made up for in flavor!
These were tender, tangy, just a bit spicy, and incredibly tasty.
Pick your favorite side dishes but Honey Chipotle Baby Back Ribs will certainly be the star of the show.
Don’t plan on having too many leftovers!
Here’s the recipe: Adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table