Hey friends, Father’s Day is coming up next week. When I think of what I would get my dad for Father’s day if he didn’t live 3 hours away, I wouldn’t buy him a tie (he doesn’t even wear ties unless he absolutely has to), I would of course cook him a meal that I know he would love.
Growing up, my mom did most of the cooking. She always made sure we had our servings of veggies and fruit. She would make the salads and the lasagnas and the cookies.
My dad, however was the griller. He always used a classic, simple, charcoal grill. I think he really enjoyed the prep that went into heating up the coals and waiting for them to reach the right temperature. It was defiantly worth the effort (mostly because I didn’t do anything besides carry the plate of meat out to him). I always enjoyed the smell of the charcoal smoke as the meat was cooking on the grill. More flavor, in our world there was no other way to grill meat.
I wish I could say the same about myself. We have a grill that has half charcoal and half gas. To be honest it’s really nice to have the option of both because when you’re a food blogger, you don’t have time to mess with coals on top of writing your recipe down as you go, food styling, and photographing your food all while making sure it stays warm for you to eat. Anyways, the times that we do take the chance to slow down once in a while and use the charcoal side we always ALWAYS notice the difference in taste.
Over the years my dad perfected a rib recipe. It took him a little practice and playing around, but once he began serving his ribs to friends. Before he knew it he was asked by friends to bring ribs to parties.
Besides eating ribs in the South, they know a thing or two about their Bar-B-Que down there, my dads ribs are by far the best I have ever had.
If you want a nice juicy, fall-of-the bone rib then you need to cook it low and slow while retaining all of the juices. Wrap those babies up tight in foil and pop them in the oven at 200 degrees for at least 2 hours. Then brush with a little homemade BBQ sauce and pop them on the grill for 10 minutes, just until lightly charred and browned.
Seriously guys, if you have been intimidated by the thought of cooking ribs, don’t be. This method is so easy, and I promise they will turn out perfect every time.
Let’s talk BBQ sauce for a moment.
BBQ sauce is sooooooooo easy to make yourself. All you do is pour in some ingredients, stir, puree cherries, and simmer for 20 minutes! Done!
Plus you’ve got those 2 hours while the ribs are cooking, what else are going to do? See, no excuses to buy the bottled stuff!
When I thought of a BBQ sauce that my dad would really enjoy, I thought of cherries. The guy loves some good cherries. We used to have cherry seed spitting contests on the porch in the summer. You see, I’m an only child, he had no boys to be boy-ish with, so he kind of taught me some not so lady like skills growing up. But hey, bonding time!
This cherry bourbon BBQ sauce is just how a good BBQ sauce should be. Thick, sticky, tangy, slightly spicy, and plenty of sweet, with an undertone of cherries. It is the ultimate complement to your tender ribs!
Make these ribs and BBQ sauce for your dad for Father’s day, or just make him the BBQ sauce. It’s delicious on chicken, shrimp, pork, burgers, anything!
Ribs are a great way to say thanks for raising you, and for ya know, teaching you how to spit cherry pits as far as you can. It’s defiantly a much better gift than another tie!
Happy Father’s day dad! And to all the other dads out there!
- FOR THE RIBS:
- 2 pounds baby back pork ribs
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- FOR THE BBQ SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups ketchup
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- ½ cup to ¾ cup honey (depending on sweetness preference)
- 4 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 5 shots good quality bourbon, or whiskey (it sounds like a lot but it cooks down and the alcohol cooks off)
- 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
- 3 ½ cups sweet cherries, pitted (If using frozen defrost in the microwave first, add in any juice along with the cherries)*
- FOR THE RIBS:
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Mix the dry rub spices up in a small bowl.
- Prepare the ribs by using paper towels to pat them mostly dry. Rub the spice rub mixture onto both sides of the ribs, and the ends. Make sure to actually massage the spices into the meat.
- Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil. I tend to use two large pieces of foil. You want to make sure there are no holes where the meat juices can escape from. This is a really important step to help the ribs to stay nice and tender because it locks all of the juices in with the ribs as they are cooking. Place the wrapped ribs into a large baking dish.
- Cook in the oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours. I know you will be tempted to peak at the ribs during this time, but resist the urge until you hit the 2 hour mark, you don’t want to let any of that moisture escape from the foil packet. You know the ribs are done cooking when you see the meat has exposed some bone on the edges, and when you can stick a knife into the meat and easily remove it.
- Allow the ribs to rest for 5 minutes. Preheat your grill to low heat. Brush a thin layer of the cherry bourbon BBQ sauce onto each side of the rib. Grill the ribs for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until the meat is browned and the sauce has a little bit of char to it.
- Cut the ribs, brush with more sauce, and serve immediately with more BBQ sauce on the side, of course.
- FOR THE BBQ SAUCE:
- While the ribs are cooking make the BBQ sauce.
- Heat a small sauce pot over medium-low heat. Melt the butter and add the garlic. Sautee for 2 minutes, or until slightly browned. Add in all of the other ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Once the ingredients are well combined. Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the cherries. Alternately you could transfer the sauce to a blender to puree. Return the sauce to the pot.
- Allow the sauce to come to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. NOTE: as the sauce simmers it will splatter everywhere. Be careful when stirring that you don’t get burned. Also be careful with your clothes, I wish I would have worn an apron. You know the sauce is done once it has reduced by half and has thickened enough where a thick layer clings to the back of your spoon.
- Remove from the heat. Use on ribs as needed. Store the remainder in a jar in the fridge for up to a month.
The recipe for the BBQ sauce makes way more than you need for 2 pounds of ribs (I like to make extra BBQ sauce to keep in my fridge). You can either make more ribs, which just means you will need to double or triple the spice rub and use more pans to bake your ribs in. Or you can store the BBQ sauce in the fridge for up to a month. It is delicious with chicken, pork, shrimp, any meat that you want to add some flavor to.
BBQ sauce adapted from my Orange Whiskey BBQ Sauce recipe