Saturday, May 30, 2009

Baby Back Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce

Recently, we've talked about things you like and swear you don't. We've also talked about things you love but forget. Now, let's introduce the topic of things you love and forget you can actually make. Anyone who reads this blog knows I love barbecue something fierce. Yet without a grill I forget that, like life, barbecue still goes on. That is until I started to thumb through a Cuban cookbook I've had in a box to get rid of for ages. Funny how that happens.

A recipe for baby back ribs with guava barbecue sauce immediately caught my eye. Upon reading that you bake them, I had a pen in my hand before I could blink and started making up my shopping list. Oh yeah, I have a very fast turnaround when I can make my dreams a reality.

Of course, the only snag (and there's always a snag with me) was that I couldn't find baby back ribs at my normal grocery store. Instead of running around town like I wanted to, I just threw in a rack of spare ribs and decided to make due. Yeah... I don't really like spare ribs. Too much fat to meat and they're harder to eat than baby back. Also, my foil "tent" for cooking was less than spectacular because of my baking set up. I don't have a roasting pan, why I have no idea. So I used a casserole dish with a cooling rack placed on top. Great idea with plenty of room for the onions underneath, but not so good for crimping the foil around. End result: the ribs were okay.

Despite my meh attitude on the actual meal, I have been flouting the sauce to anyone who will listen since I made it. Seriously ya'll, this sauce is the shit. A big hunk of guava paste simmered down with tomato paste and spices and RUM and how could you really not love something like that? It made my whole kitchen smell like some kind of mouthwatering savory cocktail. I've been making quesadillas (something else I love and forget exists) just so I can dip them in copious amounts of leftover sauce. Even better, it inspires a few more barbecue sauce ideas that I think will be better.

Pictures to come when I can find my camera.

Baby Back Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce
Miami Spice by Steven Raichlen

Serves 4

For boiling:
3 lbs baby back ribs
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin

Guava BBQ Sauce:
1 c guava paste
6 T cider vinegar
1/4 c dark rum
1/4 c tomato paste
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1 T soy sauce
2 tsp ketchup
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 T minced fresh onion
1 T fresh minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper or other hot chili pepper, seeded and minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For baking:
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 T fresh lime juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1) In a large pot, combine ribs with boiling ingredients and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 5 mins. Drain ribs and rinse well.

2) Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in a nonreactive heavy saucepan. Simmer until slightly thickened and richly flavored, about 5 mins. Correct seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.

3) Preheat oven to 250F.

4) Put baking onions in the bottom of a nonreactive roasting pan. Add 1 inch of water. Place roasting rack on top and brush rack with oil. Sprinkle the ribs with lime juice and salt and pepper. Brush BBQ sauce on both sides. Tightly tent ribs with aluminum foil. (Fold foil in half, then open and put over pan. Curl edges of foil under lip of pan with airspace over ribs.) Bake ribs until very tender, about 2 hours (mine took 3 because they were thicker). The recipe can be prepared several hours ahead to this stage.

5) Preheat a BBQ grill until very hot or preheat broiler with tray 3 inches from the heat.

6) Just before serving, grill or broil ribs until crusty and brown, 2-3 mins per side, brushing with the remaining sauce.

1 comment:

Mariana said...

This sounds delicious! I can't imagine why it was only a ...meh dish. I'll have to pick you up a roasting pan when I think about it next time. Mine would probably be too small to pass on and I gave your sister my bigger one years ago. The guava.....I've never actually tasted that but it still sounds delish!