For the 4th of July, Brent and I hosted our friend Chad for an all-American celebration. Since baby back ribs are such a classic Independence Day dish, we decided to try out the Big Green Egg's recipe for Mojo Pork Ribs with Mango-Habenero Glaze. Normally, we would have simply smoked the ribs and served with barbecue sauce, but this recipe promised to expand our culinary horizons with more exotic ingredients like mango nectar and mojo seasoning!
First, the mojo-seasoned ribs cooked low and slow on the plate setter in a mixture of mango nectar, rice wine vinegar, and chopped habanero pepper for two hours at 300 degrees. Can't find dry mojo seasoning? Try this recipe to make your own.
After the ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender, Brent removed them from the pan, poured the cooking juices into a bowl, and skimmed as much fat as he could from the top. He then added a cup of barbecue sauce from Golden Rule, a favorite local barbecue joint, since we didn't have the recipe for the Big Green Egg's Basic Barbecue Sauce.
While I stayed in the kitchen and whipped up the cucumber-lime-cilantro dipping sauce, Brent and Chad manned the grill by removing the plate setter and replacing it with the grill grate, raising the temperature to 450 degrees, then putting the ribs directly on the grate and basting with the mango-barbecue sauce concoction.
They let the ribs cook for 5 minutes, then basted again, then let them cook another 5 minutes before basting again, etc.
Brent added an additional baste-cook cycle to make sure the glaze was good and caramelized before taking the ribs off the grill! They looked absolutely amazing and we couldn't wait to dig in (literally).
Chad had baked some fresh corn in the oven and threw together a simple coleslaw, so we had a true feast for dinner! I have to say that these were the best ribs I have ever eaten, and also my favorite recipe we've cooked on the Egg. They were incredibly tender and had amazing flavor as well. The cucumber-lime-cilantro dipping sauce tamed some of the ribs' heat and made an unusual, but delicious, condiment for the meat.
What's YOUR favorite way to prepare ribs? We've got some more great ideas for grilled ribs here.
If you'd like to try this recipe at home, here is the full version from the Big Green Egg Cookbook:
Mojo Pork Ribs with Mango-Habanero GlazeServes 4
Equipment: Plate Setter, 9 by 13-inch Drip Pan, porcelain coated gridSet the EGG for indirect cooking with the Plate Setter, legs up.Preheat the EGG to 300F.
Ingredients1 1/2 cups mango nectar1 cup rice wine vinegar1 habanero pepper2 full racks baby back ribs1/2 cup dry mojo seasoning
Dipping Sauce (optional)2 to 3 whole English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)1/3 cup granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Basic Barbecue Sauce (page 192)1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Pour the mango nectar and vinegar into the Drip Pan and add the habanero pepper. Cut each rack of ribs in half between the bones and season liberally with the mojo seasoning. Add the ribs to the Drip Pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place the Drip Pan on the Plate Setter and close the lid of the EGG. Cook for 2 hours, or until tender. Remove the Drip Pan from the EGG and set aside.
To make the dipping sauce, place the cucumber in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for about 2 minutes, or until the cucumbers have been completely pureed. Place a strainer over a small bowl and pour the pureed cucumbers into the strainer, reserving the liquid until you have 1 ½ cups of cucumber liquid. Place the liquid in a small bowl and add the lime juice, sugar, and salt. Mix until the sugar has completely dissolved. Refrigerate until needed.
Add the grid to the EGG, and raise the temperature to 450F. Remove the ribs from the Drip Pan and strain the juices from the pan into a bowl. Skim the fat from the top of the juices, add the barbecue sauce, and mix well.
Place the ribs on the grid. Brush the ribs with the barbecue sauce. Close the lid of the EGG and grill for 5 minutes. Turn the ribs, baste with more sauce, and cook with the lid closed for another 5 minutes. Turn the ribs, baste with more sauce, cook with the lid closed for another 5 minutes, or until the sauce has caramelized. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
Remove the cucumber sauce from the refrigerator, add the cilantro, and blend well. Pour the sauce into a small bowl. Place the ribs on a platter and serve with the cucumber sauce.
—From Big Green Egg Cookbook/Andrews McMeel Publishing