Blackberry-glazed back ribs

Blackberry-Glazed Back Ribs
By Bruce Aidells

Serves 6

If you're a fan as I am, of dark, intense fruit glazes, then this blackberry glaze is just for you. Instead of blackberries, you can substitute any summer berry including blueberries, but with the exception of strawberries however. The glaze is also good with Grilled Pork Tenderloin, and Grilled Pork Chops. You can also use the glaze or sauce with baked ham.

Back Rib Rub

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 (1 1/2 pound) slabs baby-back ribs

Blackberry Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup crème de cassis or grape juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup blackberry jam
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the spice rub in small bowl then massage the mixture into the ribs. Tightly wrap the ribs with plastic and refrigerate overnight (16 to 30 hours).

To make the Blackberry Glaze, put the chicken stock, vinegar, cassis, grape juice, mustard, blackberry jam, and blackberries in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking occasionally. Reduce the heat slightly to maintain a simmer and cook until the liquid becomes syrupy. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook for a few seconds more until the sauce has lightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper and strain through a fine mesh strainer and set aside or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. (Reheat before serving.)

Set up a covered gas or charcoal grill for indirect heat. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and place them on the grill so that there is no heat directly underneath them. Cover, and try to maintain a grill temperature of 250° to 300° F. After 1 hour, brush the ribs generously with the blackberry glaze. Grill for 15 minutes more. The ribs are done when the meat begins to pull away from the bone tips, and is quite tender.

Serve the ribs with additional Blackberry Glaze passed separately.

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