Pastured Pork Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce

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This smoky-sweet barbecue sauce is good on everything, from lamb and pork ribs to grilled flank steak, chicken wings, and cedar-plank grilled salmon. Its gorgeous color and bright flavor will have you looking for other ingredients to slather and dip! If you’ve got a stash of frozen berries in your freezer, this sauce is a delicious use for them.

Serves 4 | 45 minutes for the BBQ sauce; 20 minutes active time for the ribs

Barbecue Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, cut into small dice, about 2 cups
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons freshly grated garlic
2 large chipotles in adobo, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 pints blackberries, about 4 cups
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey

Put the oil in a small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, stirring occasionally until it is lightly translucent, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the ginger, garlic, chipotles, salt, and pepper, and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add the berries, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, and honey. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened and turned slightly glossy, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rub

4 pounds pastured pork or lamb ribs, patted dry with a paper towel
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground coriander
4 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 teaspoons Ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Remove the thin, papery skin from the back of each rack of ribs.

Combine the brown and granulated sugars, coriander, paprika, chile powder, and salt. Stir well to combine and rub all over both sides of the ribs. Place the ribs in a single layer in a shallow baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil, place cooling racks on top, and arrange the ribs on the racks in a single layer, meaty side up. Completely cover the pans with foil and roast for 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the rib racks. Spare ribs will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours and baby back ribs 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the foil halfway through the cooking time. Remove the ribs from the oven and lightly brush both sides with the barbecue sauce.

Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill the ribs 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until they are nicely charred. Brush with additional sauce and cut between the bones to separate into individual ribs. Serve with the remaining barbecue sauce.

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