Cooking with alcohol can add a wonderful depth of flavor to dishes. While it may not be suitable for children’s meals, using bourbon in recipes can elevate the taste to a whole new level. This particular recipe uses Jack Daniel’s bourbon, but you can use any bourbon you prefer. The bourbon adds an extra layer of flavor to the ribs, along with the smokiness. To balance the flavors and give the ribs a touch of sweetness, we’re using blueberries. Blueberries are readily available at most grocery stores, and if you can’t find fresh ones, you can use frozen berries. Simply thaw them before incorporating them into your recipes!
2 racks of ribs
- For the spray
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple juice
Spray bottle (or a new garden sprayer dedicated to this purpose)
- For the Glaze
150 grams blueberries
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon rosemary (finely chopped)
- Preheat the BBQ to 100°C (212°F) and set up for indirect grilling.
- Prepare the spare ribs by removing the membrane from the back (hollow side).
- Coat the ribs with mustard and apply your favorite BBQ dry rub. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour. You can also prepare this a day in advance and refrigerate the ribs while marinating.
- Make the sauce by bringing all the sauce ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Crush the blueberries well and let them simmer on low heat for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. You can optionally briefly puree the mixture if there are still pieces in it.
- Place the ribs on the BBQ’s indirect side for about 60 minutes and add some smoking wood chips to the charcoal for a delightful smoky flavor. After an hour, you will notice the color getting darker. This is a good time to start spraying the ribs with the apple juice mixture. Spray the ribs and repeat this process every 30 minutes to keep the ribs tender and juicy.
- When you start to see the bones protruding from the meat after 2 hours, it’s time to wrap the ribs in foil. Lay two long pieces of foil on the table, place the ribs with the curved side down on them, and wrap them tightly (add a tiny bit of apple juice here and there to create some steam inside the foil). Place the foil-wrapped ribs back on the BBQ for at least 1 hour. After 1 hour, check if you can gently feel the bones loosening; if not, let them continue cooking for another hour. If you can easily insert a skewer into the meat with minimal resistance, you’re ready for the next step.
- Remove the ribs from the foil and place them back on the BBQ. Generously coat the ribs with the previously made sauce and grill for another hour. Reapply the sauce to the ribs occasionally.
- After 1 hour, the ribs will be ready to serve. Enjoy your meal!