I spent the last week down in the Outer Banks in North Carolina with my family just relaxing and enjoying the sun and not doing much cooking along the way. my brother manned the grills for the week and did a great job with all of the different things that he cooked. I did make a few side dishes along the way but nothing extravagant and we all had a great time seeing each other and having fun. Now that I am back home, it’s time to get down to some more cooking. I had these spare ribs in the freezer and knew I wanted to make them, so I decided to give this recipe a try from Kitchen Daily that makes use of a smoky blackberry barbecue sauce. Their original recipe is designed to be used with short ribs, but I think it makes a pretty nice transition over to spare ribs. I used St. Louis ribs, but you could just easily use baby backs and get good results.
Spare Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
For the Sauce:
1 pound blackberries
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 medium onion, finely chopped, plus 1/4 cup minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons seeded and minced chipotles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
For the Ribs:
4 pounds St. Louis spare ribs or baby back ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the ribs on the baking sheet. Season the ribs well with salt and pepper on both sides. Cover the ribs with another sheet of aluminum foil and bake them, covered, in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the top cover of aluminum foil and bake the ribs uncovered for another 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large bowl toss the blackberries together with the smoked paprika. Heat a medium saute pan over high heat and place the blackberries in the pan. Heat the berries, tossing them occasionally, until the berries begin to burst, about 3 to 5 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat the 3 tablespoons of vegetable over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and started to brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until the paste is glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the blackberries, cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, chipotles, Dijon mustard and the ground cumin and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has slightly thickened and the berries are very tender, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the sauce to a blender and allow it to cool slightly. Puree the sauce until it is smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard any leftover solids in the sieve. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and allow the sauce to cool completely. Stir in the minced onion, the olive oil and the dried oregano.
Brush the ribs in the oven with the blackberry barbecue sauce until they are well coated and continue baking the ribs for another 25 minutes. Turn up the heat in the oven to 400 degrees and give the ribs a final coating of barbecue sauce, allowing them to cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce is caramelized and the ribs are cooked through.Remove the ribs from the oven to a cutting board and cut the ribs into portions and serve with the remaining sauce.
The blackberry sauce has a very distinct flavor to it and the chipotles add just the right amount of heat to the sauce. The sauce has the consistency of any other barbecue sauce but if you like blackberries you will really enjoy the flavor you get. This sauce is great for ribs but I think it would do just as well on chicken or other pieces of pork if you wanted to give that a try. I tried to strain out as many of the blackberry seeds as I could but some still got through so it’s something you have to be aware of if your diners aren’t fans of the seeds. Other than that, I think the sauce was a real winner.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!