Spicy and Sticky Baby Back Ribs

Spicy and Sticky Baby Back RibsRecipe
Photo: © Quentin Bacon
Chef Way: To create the flavorings for these ribs, Donald Link combines eight spices for a rub and prepares a barbecue sauce with homemade pork stock.
Easy Way Cut back the number of spices in the rub to the five essentials, and use canned beef broth in the barbecue sauce.


6 to 8 servings

Recipe from

Food & Wine


1 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon ground fennel
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
4 baby back ribs the underside of each rack, about 2 1/2 pounds each membrane removed from
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
3 garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup ketchup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup hot sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses


In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, mustard, fennel, black pepper, cayenne and paprika. On 2 large rimmed baking sheets, sprinkle the spice mix all over the ribs, pressing and patting it. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 250°. Pour off any liquid on the baking sheets, cover the ribs with foil and roast for about 3 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone. Pour off any liquid on the baking sheets.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook over moderate heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, vinegar, beef broth, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and molasses and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the broiler and position a rack 10 inches from the heat. Brush the ribs liberally with the barbecue sauce and broil for about 10 minutes, turning and brushing occasionally with the sauce, until well-browned and crispy in spots. Transfer the ribs to a work surface and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut in between the bones and mound the ribs on a platter. Pass any extra barbecue sauce on the side.