Baby Back Ribs with Coffee-Infused BBQ Sauce

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With warmer weather arriving, we’ve nearly reached the time when I pack away my slow cooker and the gas grill goes into heavy rotation.  I love to barbecue, and we grill year round.

When we lived in Chicago, it wasn’t unheard of to shovel a path through the snow to get to the grill, and I’ve been known to hold a flashlight in my teeth as the sun sets early in winter and the patio lighting was negligible. In Wales, I mastered holding an umbrella over the grill so the rain didn’t wash off the seasonings and sauces.  Thankfully, here in Texas the weather is pretty cooperative most of the year.

The Boy has been asking me to make him baby back ribs. Messy face, sticky fingers, corn on the cob, warm buttermilk biscuits…I think he had the right idea.

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When I make baby back ribs, however, they start out with a dry rub and a long roast in the oven until they are juicy and nearly fall of the bones tender, and I finish them on the grill so that they acquire a lovely charred crust from the sauce. I usually make my own dry rub, but I’ve recently discovered KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce Mix and Dry Rub, and when used as a dry rub it tastes very similar to my own recipe – sweet, smoky with a bit of a kick.

BBQ-Ribs

The beauty of the KC Masterpiece Dry Mix is that when you add your choice of liquid, it transforms into BBQ sauce! I played around with it – my husband prefers a sweeter sauce, while I like a heartier, more savory sauce – and found a mix of root beer and coffee that hits all the right notes. Other mixers that work well are pineapple juice, cola, beer, grape juice and even bourbon – you can customize it to match your family’s taste!

Curious? Let me show you how easy it is!

Start with a Dry Rub

I started out by preheating my oven to 400º – yes, my oven. Roasting the ribs in the oven with some reduced liquid results in fork-tender ribs that we’ll finish on the grill with some delicious BBQ sauce.

I started out with 3-4 lb pork baby back ribs that I rinsed off and patted dry with a paper towel, then placed into a roasting pan.
BBQ-Ribs
Remove one package of KC Masterpiece Dry mix from the box and place 3/4 of package in a small bowl, reserving remaining mix for later (because you can’t have too much BBQ sauce).

Using the mix in the bowl, rub mix onto ribs, coating both sides thoroughly. (Discard any remaining rub left in the bowl.)

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Now, for the reduced liquid – I like to use a dark beer. Pour bottle of beer into a saucepan, turn heat to medium high and boil beer until reduced by half. (Watch to make sure it doesn’t boil over.)

Roasting collage

Pour reduced liquid into roasting pan around (but not onto) ribs. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven. Roast approximately 90 minutes or until ribs are fork tender. (Careful peeling back that foil as steam WILL escape.)

Finish with a BBQ Sauce.

While ribs are baking, prepare the BBQ sauce.  Take remaining unopened package of KC Masterpiece dry mix and place in a clean bowl. Add in the reserved KC Masterpiece dry mix.

BBq-ribs

Mix instant coffee with water until well dissolved, then add coffee to the KC Masterpiece Dry Mix and stir well.

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Slowly add root beer to dry mix, stirring slowly with whisk (mixture will initially be bubbly). Continue stirring until all dry mix is well incorporated.

Set aside until ribs are finished in oven.

When the ribs are nearly done, preheat BBQ grill to medium-high – time to finish the ribs on the grill to give them a perfect char crust!

Your ribs are cooked perfectly and since they will be fall-off-the-bone tender, you may want to cut the rack to smaller portions to make it easier to turn.

bbq-ribs

Coat ribs with BBQ sauce and place on grill for 3-5 minutes until the sauce starts to char. Serve with remaining sauce on the side and plenty of napkins!

I came across the KC Masterpiece Dry Mix in the condiment aisle at my local Kroger. It comes in two flavors: Original (which is what I picked up for my ribs) and Sweet Honey, and each box contains two 2-oz. pouches, which makes 16 oz. of BBQ sauce. It’s perfect with chicken, pork or beef and, depending on what you choose to mix it with, becomes a barbecue sauce, a marinade, a dinner sauce, or even a dip! (Or use it as it is for a dry rub – or do as I did, and use it in more than one form.) Pretty clever!

bbq-ribs

Intrigued? You can try KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce Mix and Dry Rub yourself with this $1 off coupon (along with other savings!), good from 6/18 to 8/31.

So tell me – what is your favorite barbecuing trick: is it a marinade, sauce or dry rub??

 

Dry Rubbed Ribs with Coffee Infused BBQ Sauce

Dry Rubbed Ribs with Coffee Infused BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lb pork baby back ribs
  • 1 box KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce Mix and Dry Rub
  • 1 bottle dark beer, your choice
  • 1 TBSP instant coffee (Or instant espresso)
  • 1/4 C water
  • 3/4 C root beer

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ˆº.
  2. Rinse ribs and pat dry with paper towel, and place in a roasting pan.
  3. Remove one package of KC Masterpiece Dry mix and place 3/4 of package in a small bowl, reserving remaining mix.
  4. Using the mix in the bowl, rub mix onto ribs, coating both sides thoroughly.
  5. Pour bottle of beer into a saucepan, Turn heat to medium high and boil beer until reduced by half. (Watch to make sure it doesn't boil over.)
  6. Pour reduced liquid into roasting pan around (but not onto) ribs. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven. Roast approximately 90 minutes or until ribs are fork tender.
  7. While ribs are baking, prepare the BBQ sauce.
  8. Take remaining unopened package of KC Masterpiece dry mix and place in bowl. Add in the reserved KC Masterpiece dry mix.
  9. Mix instant coffee with water until well dissolved, then add coffee to the KC Masterpiece dry mix and stir well.
  10. Slowly add root beer to dry mix, stirring slowly with whisk (mixture will initially be bubbly). Continue stirring until all dry mix is well incorporated.
  11. Set aside until ribs are roasted.
  12. When the ribs are nearly done, pre-heat BBQ grill to medium-high - time to finish the ribs on the grill to give them a perfect char crust!
  13. Your ribs are cooked perfectly and since they will be fall-off-the-bone tender, you may want to cut the rack to smaller portions of 4 ribs to make it easier to turn.
  14. Coat ribs with BBQ sauce and place on grill for 3-5 minutes until the sauce starts to char.
  15. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.
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