Years ago my aunt knew someone who would make these amazing ribs. Seriously good stuff. So I asked for the recipe and since at the time I didn’t have a grill and lived by myself I promptly put it in a “safe” place. You know the one, the one you can never find. Flash forward to the present when we recently took our son out to dinner and there were ribs on the kids menu. He got all excited! Who knew? He loves ribs. I rolled up my sleeves and did a bit of digging as I had moved twice! Guess what? Found the recipe! I had a bunch of people to make it for and a grill. 🙂
The copy I have is from a Bon Appetite issue and they, in turn, got it from Miles James who is/was the chef-owner of James at the Mill in Johnson, Arkansas. I don’t know how old this recipe is or when it was published.
Obviously if you have the time prepare the ribs the day before. I didn’t so I did the prep earlier in the day and that worked as well. I saw the recipe was for 4-6 which was perfect so I found a rack with 12 ribs on it and bought it. It wasn’t until I read the whole recipe that it called for 3 racks! Seriously? That is a crazy amount of food once you add in the mash potatoes and grilled corn on the cob.
Prepare the rub first by combining 2 Tablespoons ground cumin, 1 Tablespoon chili powder, dry mustard, and coarse salt, 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, ground cardamom, and ground cinnamon. This is what the recipe called for. I changed it a bit because I didn’t have chili powder so I increased the cayenne and because the mustard was really strong I added 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar.
Rub both sides of the ribs with this mixture.
Cover with cling film and store in the fridge for at least a couple of hours if not overnight.
To prepare the sauce I chopped about 2 cups of onions and about 1 1/2 cups of scallions. I finely chopped 8 cloves of garlic and sauteed the onions and garlic in some olive oil.
Once those have softened a bit I added 2 cups packed brown sugar, 1 cup ketchup, 1 small can of tomato paste (8oz), 1 cup water, 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup apple cider, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin. The recipe also calls for 1 chopped ancho chili but I couldn’t find that so I used a hot wax pepper.
Then I put in just over half a cup of garlic mustard. The recipe does call for 1 cup of whole grain Dijon mustard but I didn’t have that but I found what I used to work really well.
Stir well and then let it simmer to reduce a bit and thicken.
This year I decided to really figure out how to grill properly. No more throwing the meat on and cooking it quickly! These were the first ribs I have ever cooked so I tried to do it somewhat slowly and watch the grill temps. I almost got it! 🙂 But it will take some practice.
After cutting the ribs in half I seared them quickly then shifted them to one side and kept the burners going on the other side.
After about 45 minutes or so I removed them to do the sauce. The recipe said about 40 minutes. Going forward I think lower and slower will do the trick. Slather on the BBQ sauce before returning the meat to the grill.
Once the meat starts to have a bit of caramelization then it is ready to serve.
Our son really enjoyed this and so did the rest of us! 🙂