BBQ U Mint Julep RibsSteven Raichlen
BBQ U Mint Julep Ribs
- Yield: 4
- Method: Indirect
- Equipment: 2 cups hickory chips, soaked in water to cover for 1 hour, then drained (optional-only if using a charcoal grill)
For the rub
- 2 teaspoons iced tea mix (made with sugar, not artificial sweetener)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried mint (peppermint or spearmint)
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
For the mint glaze
- 3 tablespoons mint jelly
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cups bourbon
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 racks baby back ribs (4 to 5 pounds total)
- 1 Bourbon Barbecue Sauce (see below)
Step 1: Make the rub: Place the iced tea mix, sugar, mint, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Step 2: Make the glaze: Combine the mint jelly, lemon juice, butter, bourbon, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking often, and cook until the mint jelly is dissolved and the mixture is syrupy, 5 minutes. Set the glaze aside.
Step 3: Prepare the ribs: Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of each rack of ribs: Turn a rack meat side down. Insert a sharp implement, such as the tip of a meat thermometer, under the membrane (the best place to start is right next to the first rib bone). Using a dishcloth or pliers to gain a secure grip, pull off the membrane. Repeat with the other rack.
Step 4: Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with rub, rubbing it into the meat. Cover the ribs and store in the refrigerator while you set up your grill.
Step 5: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Step 6: Arrange the ribs, bone side down, in the center of the grate over the drip pan away from the heat. If working on a charcoal grill and using wood chips, toss half on each mound of coals. Cover the grill and cook for 1 hour.
Step 7: Brush the ribs on both sides with the mint glaze. Recover the grill and continue cooking until the ribs are well-browned and cooked through, yet tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, 15 to 30 minutes more, or 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours in all. Brush the ribs once or twice more with glaze, and if using a charcoal grill, replenish the coals as needed. When the ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about 1/4 inch.
Step 8: Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board, and cut the racks in half, widthwise, or into individual ribs. Serve at once with the Bourbon Barbecue Sauce on the side.