Coffee-Honey BBQ Baby Back Oven Ribs

Who doesn't love tasty, fall-off-the-bone ribs? I thoroughly enjoy a good barbecue in the back yard on a nice summer evening. There's only one problem — I don't have a grill. (I know, I know, shame on me for working at a meat shop and not having a grill.) 

Being grill-less, I'd pretty much given up on attempting any kind of barbecue that didn't involve a crock pot, but someone mentioned making ribs in the oven, so off I went on a hunt for a worthy oven barbecue ribs recipe. 

I definitely found it in Baby Back Ribs with Coffee-Honey Barbecue Sauce from Nerds with Knives. Of course, they had me at "coffee." Reading through the recipe and learning that I would make my own barbecue sauce (!!) and slow roasting the ribs in the oven sealed the deal. I'll never make ribs any other way. 

Before you go any further, note: THIS RECIPE TAKES AT LEAST 24 HOURS. 

Yes. It's a long process. BUT don't let that deter you because it's totally worth it! It helps to be on your meal-planning game. If you're prepping for the week, this will fall right in line. You can even make the barbecue sauce early and prep the ribs later. 

Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.

Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.

In past barbecue recipe iterations, I've used finely ground espresso and mixed it in with the sauce.  As I was reading through this, I saw it calls for brewed coffee or espresso. Fortunately, I brew my coffee strong, so I just saved the last cup from my French press for the sauce! 

The recipe calls for soy sauce and hoisin, which is kind of like a Chinese barbecue sauce. I used some of the leftover dark soy sauce from my Oxtail Adventure, and I think it really took the barbecue sauce to the next level. You can usually find hoisin in the international aisle next to the soy sauce.  

Try to resist nibbling off the edges while they're cooling! 

Try to resist nibbling off the edges while they're cooling! 

These ribs turned out SO good. We had planned to split a rack for dinner and then save the other rack for leftovers, but they were so delicious we ended up eating all of them!


Baby Back Ribs with Coffee-Honey Barbecue Sauce

For barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon neutral oil (I used vegetable oil)
• 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
• 1/2 cup espresso or strong brewed coffee
• 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar (I used white)
• 1 cup ketchup
• 3/4 cup honey
• 1/2 cup hoisin
• 1/4 cup soy sauce (I recommend dark soy sauce, but regular will work fine, too)
• 1-2 tablespoons sriracha (depending on how spicy you want it!)
For ribs
• 2 racks baby back ribs from 1907 Meat Co. 
• Salt and pepper

For barbecue sauce
Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 3-5 minutes. Add espresso, vinegar, ketchup, honey, soy sauce, hoisin and sriracha and whisk to combine. I mixed these ingredients in a bowl before adding to the pan.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container until ready to use.

For ribs
Preheat oven to 275°F. Place ribs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
Bake for 2 1/2 hours and let cool.
When the ribs are cool enough to handle, cut each rack in half and place two halves in sealable plastic bags.  
Pour about half of the barbecue sauce into a measuring cup and thin with a couple of tablespoons of water, and divide it evenly between the two bags. Coat the ribs evenly on all sides, and place in the refrigerator to marinate at least overnight or up to two days. Turn the bags a few times to ensure even marinating. I let my in marinate for about 24 hours. 
When you're ready to finish the ribs, preheat the oven to 350°F. 
Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Place the ribs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and brush with additional sauce (I just poured the leftover sauce from the bags on top of the ribs). 
Bake 30-45 minutes and brush with sauce every 10 minutes, until heated through and glazed.
You an also grill them at this point. 

Serve with your favorite barbecue sides, or just a simple green salad! 

Sally Asher is the Communications Coordinator at 1907 Meat Co.