Chef John Folse: Apple jack 'oven-qued' baby back ribs

Chef John Folse: Apple Jack Oven-Cued Baby Back Ribs

(WVUE) - Although summer is considered the perfect season for barbecue grilling and smoking, often our summer sun is just too much for a commitment to man the pit! Well, fear not! You can still enjoy that great smoke and pit flavor indoors by using this oven recipe. In addition, this interesting barbecue sauce is a natural accompaniment to ribs, pork tenderloins or chops. The apple preserve and cider are great additions to the slightly sweet flavor of this oven-barbecued dish.

Prep Time: 3½ Hours

Yields: 4–6 Servings

Ingredients for Baby Back Ribs:

2 slabs baby back pork ribs

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsps liquid smoke

¾ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed

3 tbsps kosher salt

3 tbsps chili powder

2 tsps ground black pepper

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsps ground chipotle chile pepper

2 tbsps ground cumin

2 tbsps granulated onion

2 tbsps granulated garlic

4 cups pure apple juice

Method for Baby Back Ribs:

Preheat oven to 250°F. Cut each slab of ribs in half. Using a kitchen knife or pliers, pull the white membrane from the back side of the ribs then place on a large baking sheet with a 2-inch lip, discarding membrane. Combine Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke then rub well into the ribs. In a mixing bowl, combine all dry rub ingredients and blend well. Sprinkle each side of ribs generously with dry rub and pat into meat. Pour apple juice on to a baking sheet with a 2-inch lip. Place the ribs meat-side down on the baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil and bake 2½ hours or until ribs reach an internal temperature of 190°F. While ribs are cooking, create the Apple Jack Sauce.

Ingredients for Apple Jack Sauce:

½ cup apple preserve

¼ cup apple cider

¼ cup Jack Daniel's® Tennessee whiskey

1½ cups Heinz® Hot & Spicy Flavored Ketchup

2 tbsps packed brown sugar

2 tbsps Steen's™ cane syrup

1 tbsp granulated garlic

1 tbsp granulated onion

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground cayenne pepper

¼ tsp mustard powder

Method for Apple Jack Sauce:

In a small saucepot over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients and blend well. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 5–10 minutes or until ingredients are well incorporated, stirring occasionally. Set aside. Once ribs reach 190°F, remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 375°F. Uncover ribs and drain liquid. Paint ribs with Apple Jack Sauce and return to oven uncovered. Allow ribs to brown for 15–20 minutes. Remove ribs from oven, cover with sauce then place on the barbecue pit for 10–15 minutes. NOTE: You may also wish to place apple or oak chips on the grill to give the ribs added smoke flavor. Cut ribs into portions and serve with remaining sauce.