Grilled Short Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce

Serving Size: 4
Prep Time:
Total Time:

This delicious barbecue sauce gets its smoky flavor from berries that are grilled in a perforated pan; you can use sturdy foil or a foil pan with holes punched in instead. Chipotle chiles packed in adobo amplify the smokiness of the berries.


  • 1 Pound blackberry
  • 4.5 Pound flanken-cut beef short ribs (1/3-inch thick)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • pepper
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp seeded and minced chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 0.25 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 0.25 cup tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped, plus 1/4 cup minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 tsp sweet pimentón de la Vera (sweet smoked paprika)
  • thinly sliced radishes, for garnish


  1. Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the blackberries with the pimentón . Spread the berries in a perforated grill pan or in a foil pan with holes poked in it. Grill over moderately high heat, tossing, until the berries just start to burst, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until just golden. Add the chopped onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the blackberries, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, chipotles, mustard and cumin and bring just to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until slightly thickened and the berries are very tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer the sauce to a blender and let cool slightly, then puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the solids. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and let cool completely. Spoon 1 cup of the sauce into a bowl and stir in the minced onion, the olive oil and the 2 tablespoons of oregano. Reserve the remaining sauce for grilled chicken or pork.
  4. Light the grill and oil the grate. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and brush with the blackberry sauce. Grill over high heat, turning once, until nicely charred, 3 minutes. Continue to grill for 2 minutes more, turning and basting with more sauce, until glazed. Garnish the ribs with radishes and chopped oregano; serve hot.

Make Ahead: The blackberry sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

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Recipe Credit: Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton and Greg Denton
Image Credit: Christina Holmes