If there is a holiday that marks the beginning of the backyard barbecue season, it has to be Memorial Day. Though it is a year-round practice in our house, we always make a point to fire up the grill at some point over the long weekend for some delicious barbecue (and beer, of course!). Simmering the ribs in the beer first really tenderizes the meat while adding a hint of flavor, and the sauce adds just the right sweet and spicy intensity.
For this dish, you will need:
Six 12-ounce bottles Bell's Lager of the Lakes
3 racks ribs -- about 3 1/2 pounds (baby back, preferably, but use what you like), each rack cut in half
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely choppe
1/4 cup rendered bacon fat
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup strong-brewed coffee
1/4 cup sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce (this is very spicy, so adjust to your tastes)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup tamarind concentrate (found in Asian markets and specialty food stores)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing
In a large pot, combine the beer, ribs, carrots, celery and onion and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, turning the ribs a few times, until the ribs are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the ribs to a work surface and let cool. Cut in between the ribs at 2-rib intervals.
In a large saucepan, heat the bacon fat. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes longer. Whisk in the orange juice, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, coffee, sambal oelek, molasses, tamarind concentrate, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Puree the sauce in a food processor. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to work in batches.
Light a grill. Brush the ribs with oil. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Brush the ribs with the sauce and grill, turning and brushing with more sauce, until richly glazed and browned, about 2 minutes longer. Serve the ribs with extra sauce for dipping. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
We hope you all have a safe and relaxing Memorial Day Weekend!
Inspired by a recipe from Food and Wine magazine.