Twice cooked baby back ribs
PREP TIME 30 mins, plus marinating, COOK TIME 2 1⁄2 hrs
1 rack of baby back ribs, about 21⁄4lb (1kg)
For the dry rub:
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp smoked paprika or ancho chili powder
1 tsp dried mustard powder
1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
1⁄2 tsp celery salt
1⁄2 tsp garlic salt
1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the barbecue sauce:
1⁄4 cup peanut or sunflower oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsp apple juice
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 heaped tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 heaped tsp mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika or ancho chili powder
1⁄4 tsp celery salt
1⁄4 tsp allspice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Mix all the ingredients for the dry rub together in a small bowl. Rinse the ribs and then pat them dry with paper towels. Place the ribs on a large piece of strong foil and rub one-third of the dry rub mixture on the bony side, and the remaining two-thirds on the more fleshy side of the ribs. Rub the spices in really well, then wrap the ribs tightly in the foil, making sure that they are completely sealed in. Chill for 1 hour.
2 Preheat the oven to 300ºF (150ºC). Place the wrapped ribs on a large baking sheet and cook, fleshy-side up (so that they arch slightly away from the sheet) for 2 hours.
3 For the barbecue sauce, heat the oil in a small, heavy-based saucepan and cook the onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, along with 4 tbsp of water, whisk them together, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, until thickened and reduced. Blend the sauce until smooth, either in a blender or in the pan using a hand-held blender. Pour half into a bowl to use for brushing the ribs and reserve the other side for serving.
4 Preheat the grill. When the ribs are cooked, remove them from the oven and unwrap them, being careful of any steam and hot liquid that may escape. Place them, fleshy-side down, on a board and brush the top liberally with the barbecue sauce. Cook them, bony-side down, over the hot coals, while brushing the fleshy side with more of the sauce.
5 Turn them carefully once the underside is dark brown and crispy (about 5 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill), and cook the other side for a further 5 minutes. Serve on a board, chopped into individual ribs, with the extra barbecue sauce on the side.
Prepare the meat up to 2 days in advance, then finish off on the grill when ready to eat, so long as it is cooked through.