These baby back ribs offer classic BBQ flavor, but are made simple in the oven. Rich and perfectly tangy-sweet, the homemade barbecue sauce used for this recipe is nothing short of divine, but feel free to use your favorite bottle in a pinch. Wrapping the ribs in foil helps to keep them moist throughout the low and slow cook time, while broiling at the end gives them a deliciously crispy crust. To reheat a slab of these oven-baked ribs, re-wrap in foil and return to the oven heated to 300°F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion (from 1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño chile, seeded and diced
1 (10.75-oz.) can tomato puree
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 (2 1/2 to 3-lb.) slabs bone-in baby back pork ribs
1/2 cup Dijon mustard, divided
How to Make It
Prepare the Barbecue Sauce: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeño; cook, stirring often, until lightly browned around edges, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomato puree, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally (making sure sauce doesn’t stick or burn), until thickened and reduced to 2 cups, about 1 hour. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Chill until ready to use.
Prepare the Ribs: Preheat oven to 275°F, and place oven rack in middle of oven. Combine brown sugar, chili powder, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, and black pepper in a medium bowl; set aside. Remove the thin outer membrane on back of ribs by loosening with a butter knife and pulling it off; discard. Brush each side of both slabs evenly with Dijon mustard; sprinkle liberally with spice mixture, patting gently to adhere. Wrap each slab individually in aluminum foil (or chill uncovered up to 12 hours).
Place wrapped ribs on a wire rack set on a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven until tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (Check for doneness by removing ribs from oven, unwrapping foil, and picking up 1 end with tongs. The ribs are ready when they bend and meat on top is tender and easily pulls apart.) Unwrap ribs; discard foil and drippings. Place directly on wire rack, and spread 1/2 cup of the Barbecue Sauce on top of each slab. Return to oven, and cook at 275°F for 30 minutes.
Brush slabs again with some of the Barbecue Sauce. Adjust oven to broil, and return to middle rack. Broil until sauce bubbles and starts to caramelize, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with remaining sauce.
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