This week I wanted to make one of my Nana’s old recipes. My dad and aunt wax poetic about her baby back ribs – even my mom remembers them fondly, and she isn’t a big fan of barbeque ribs (she prefers her ribs dry). My aunt Lynn was gracious enough to come over and help me make the ribs for the first time (because I begged her to help me for fear of messing them up). Even though there are a lot of ingredients, they were surprisingly easy to make! And, now I have TWO homemade barbeque sauces to pull from. Mike is very excited about this.
Nana’s Baby Back Ribs With Homemade Barbeque Sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (or more) cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chile sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
8 drops of hot sauce
8 drops of liquid smoke
3-4 racks of baby back ribs
1 can beef broth
Water to cover the ribs
1 small onion, chopped
(There is butter in the picture. Just pretend it isn’t there, you don’t need it.)
First you make the sauce. For best results, you should make the sauce the day before you make the ribs, but I’m not a planner. Put the vegetable oil and the chopped onion into a pan and saute for 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic in for the last minute.
Add the ketchup, chili sauce, water, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, hot sauce, and liquid smoke. I measured these out in advance while the onions were cooking, and then added them all at once. I would like to take credit for this idea, but my aunt told me to do it.
Cook it up for 10-15 minutes, then set it aside to cool. Embarrassing thing Mike and I learned during this step: we have a burner on our stove that is smaller than the rest, and therefore cooks things slower. My aunt was all, “don’t use this burner, it’s smaller” and Mike and I were all, “uh…yeah, we knew that, we were just testing you.”
Once the sauce is cooled, put it in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Then, put the sauce in a container and refrigerate overnight. Or, if you forgot to plan ahead like me, just put it off to the side.
Prepare your ribs. Start by removing the icky sheath of fat from the back of the ribs. You can find a picture of that here, it’s kind of nasty looking so only click if you won’t get grossed out. Then cut your ribs into serving portions. Every two ribs is a serving piece.
Put your sliced ribs in the bottom of a large pot, then cover with water. Add beef broth and coarsely chopped onions, then boil for forty minutes. This makes the ribs tender.
After you’ve boiled the ribs, slather both sides with your barbeque sauce. Place the ribs in a dish (lining with foil makes it easier to clean later) and cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. You can also put the ribs on the barbeque on medium/low heat for about 20 minutes, turning frequently so the sauce doesn’t burn. We’d planned on barbecuing the ribs, but it rained that day.
They look and smell delish.
My aunt Lynn, Mike, and my mom were the official taste testers (Annie refused to be photographed eating something messy).
Three Barbeque-Thumbs Up!
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 (or more) cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup chile sauce
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 8 drops of hot sauce
- 8 drops of liquid smoke
- 3-4 racks of baby back ribs
- 1 can beef broth
- Water to cover the ribs
- 1 small onion, chopped
- The day before you make the ribs, sauté the chopped onion in the oil over medium heat about 7-10 minutes.
- Add chopped garlic for the last minute of sauté.
- Add ketchup, chili sauce, water, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, hot sauce, and liquid smoke.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes and then cool in the pan.
- Blend sauce in a blender until smooth.
- Let the flavors blend in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, prepare the ribs by removing the thin sheath on the back of the ribs, then cut the ribs into serving pieces (every 2 ribs.)
- Cook the ribs in the boiling water, beef broth, and chopped onion for 40 minutes, then drain.
- Slather the ribs in the barbeque sauce and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes OR grill on the barbecue on medium/low heat, turning frequently for about 20 minutes so the sauce doesn’t burn