Spicy and Sticky Baby Back Ribs

Serving Size: 8
Total Time:

Chef Way: To create the flavorings for these ribs, Donald Link combines eight spices for a rub and prepares a barbecue sauce with homemade pork stock.

Easy Way: Cut back the number of spices in the rub to the five essentials, and use canned beef broth in the barbecue sauce.


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 0.25 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 0.25 cup hot sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 rack baby back ribs the underside of each rack, about 2 1/2 pound each membrane removed from
  • 1 Tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 3 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp unsulfured molasses


1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, mustard, fennel, black pepper, cayenne and paprika. On 2 large rimmed baking sheets, sprinkle the spice mix all over the ribs, pressing and patting it. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 250°. Pour off any liquid on the baking sheets, cover the ribs with foil and roast for about 3 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone. Pour off any liquid on the baking sheets.

3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook over moderate heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, vinegar, beef broth, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and molasses and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the broiler and position a rack 10 inches from the heat. Brush the ribs liberally with the barbecue sauce and broil for about 10 minutes, turning and brushing occasionally with the sauce, until well-browned and crispy in spots. Transfer the ribs to a work surface and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut in between the bones and mound the ribs on a platter. Pass any extra barbecue sauce on the side.