Valerie Bertinelli’s Baby Back Ribs

4 servings

Fall-off-the-bone ribs in a coffee and bourbon spiked barbecue sauce.



tbsp vegetable oil
large onion, chopped
cloves garlic, chopped
tbsp chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
cup bourbon
cup ketchup
cup brewed coffee
cup light brown sugar
tbsp apple cider vinegar
tbsp Worcestershire sauce
racks baby back pork ribs (4 to 5 lbs)



When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.

Step 1

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the bourbon and cook until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the ketchup, coffee, 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, cider vinegar and Worcestershire. Increase the heat and bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened and the onions are tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth (be careful when blending hot liquids). Transfer the sauce to a bowl and cool slightly.

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Step 3

Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper, and coat the racks on both sides with about 2 cups total of the barbecue sauce (reserve the remaining sauce). Put the ribs, bone-side down, on the prepared baking sheet and wrap each rack with foil. Bake until the meat is tender and pulling away from the bone, about 2 hours.

Step 4

Remove the foil and turn the ribs bone-side up. Preheat the broiler to high. Brush the bone side of the ribs with half of the remaining sauce, and broil until lightly charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Turn the ribs over, brush with the remaining sauce and broil again until charred stops on top, another 5 minutes. Cut the racks in half and serve.

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