Heatwave. 4th of July. Summer. What do all these add up to? Barbecue, right? Well, yes. But I have a shocking confession to make. We do not own a barbecue. I know, I know, what kind of food blogger am I?
But I have a good excuse – we had to bin the BBQ during the kitchen remodel there was simply nowhere to put it. We were supposed to buy a new one this weekend but what with ballet and piano lessons plus birthday parties to attend… we just didn’t manage to.
Despite the lack of BBQ my husband was lusting after ribs and here’s the thing: you can make amazing ribs in your oven. Yes, I admit, they will lack the authentic smoky BBQ taste but, honestly, you won’t miss it.
Because these dry-rubbed ribs with bourbon-spiked BBQ sauce are just awesome. Finger licking, messy, proper taste of summer awesomeness.
What’s more, they are so easy to make. Rub the ribs with a dry spice mix, stick in the oven for about 90 minutes and that’s really pretty much there’s to it. The barbecue sauce only takes about 10 minutes to throw together too.
If you are the kind of person who prepares things in advance (which I am not unless forced to) then rub the spice over the ribs, cover tightly in cling film and put in the fridge overnight.
The barbecue sauce can also be prepared in advance. Be warned this recipe only makes enough sauce for about 1kg (2.2lb) ribs. If you are making more ribs you will need to double the recipe.
Dry-rubbed ribs with bourbon-spiked BBQ sauce
BBQ sauce (enough for 2 racks of ribs)
- 100 g | 3.5oz ketchup
- 60 ml | 2fl oz white wine or cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp bourbon
- 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp tamarind paste or 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
For the ribs
- 500 g | 1.1lb racks of ribs
- 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 1 tsp coarsely ground sea salt
- 1 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1 tsp onion granules
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or ancho chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground coffee do not use instant
- Make the BBQ suace. Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir together. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.
- Set aside to cool – this can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge in a sealed jar.Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Put all the ingredients for the spice rub in a small bowl and mix together.
- Use a knife to get under the thin membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs and pull it off. It should come off quite easily.
- Rub the spice all over the ribs, massaging it in so it sticks to the ribs. Place the ribs, meat-side down, on a wire rack set over a baking tray.
- Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Take the ribs out of the oven and brush over with the barbecue sauce on both sides.
- Return to the oven, covered, for 15 minutes. Take the foil off and cook for another 15 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes then use a knife to cut between the bones and separate the ribs. Serve with the rest of the barbecue sauce.