Manly ribs.

We have the Mr. to thank for today’s post as he made the most incredible BBQ ribs ever. The homemade sauce in particular was mind-blowing. Make sure to read the hilarious recipe.

Tennessee Whiskey BBQ Sauce: Source (modified slightly by the Mr.)


  • 2 cups Jack Daniel’s Black Label or Bourbon
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Do this:

  • Taste the whiskey to make sure it is up to your standards.
  • Pour 1 cup of whiskey into a saucepan and set aside the remaining whiskey.
  • Bring the saucepan to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 2 tablespoons. Don’t let the alcohol flame.
  • Taste the unused whiskey to make sure it hasn’t gone bad.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the whiskey and the other ingredients.
  • Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes and reduce it by about 1/3.
  • Use it immediately or bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for a month or more.
  • Drink the remaining whiskey.

Clearly after the Mr. had made this sauce, it was up to me to set the table. A little baker’s twine makes a nice napkin ring! I also made Food & Wine’s delicious Celery and Grilled Grape and Mushroom Salad, which I would highly recommend.

The Mr.’s Chili-Rubbed and Beer-Soaked Ribs. Source.

[Note that this is a bit of a shortcut recipe and that ideally, with a charcoal grill, you would cook them on the grill the whole time.]


  • 2 tablespoons hot Mexican-style chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 1 12-ounce bottle dark beer

Do this:

  • *Key step* Remove membrane from the back of the ribs.

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. Rub spice mixture all over ribs.
  • Place ribs in heavy large roasting pan.
  • Boil beer in medium saucepan until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour beer around ribs.Cover pan tightly with foil.
  • Bake ribs until fork-tender, 2+hrs.
  • If you’re limited to a small grill, prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush ribs with barbecue sauce. Grill ribs long enough to produce nice crust on exterior, approx 5-10min.
  • If you don’t have a grill, turn oven to broil. Brush ribs with bbq sauce. Broil ribs long enough to produce crust on exterior.
  • Transfer ribs to platter. Brush ribs with more barbecue sauce.

The Mr.’s ribs obviously stole the show, but I ended the night on a sweet note, thanks to Cook’s Illustrated never fails cheesecake recipe–it’s all about a water bath (keeps it super moist and if you don’t know what that means: it’s when you put the cake pan inside a larger pan and fill it with boiling water while it’s baking) and turning the oven off after cooking and leaving it propped open for an hour with a spoon (prevents cracking).

I hope you all had a festive fourth! We had to work here in HK, but we got Friday off for HK SAR’s 14th anniversary so that was wonderful.

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3 responses to “Manly ribs.

  1. Wow, you sneaked this one past me! That looks fabulous and the sauce recipe is great! I blogged about grilling today and would have linked to this if I had seen it 🙂 I wish I could EAT it! Although the chili was probably too hot for me, right?
    Your table is the cutest, Natasha.

    • Ahh! You can still link to it… I wish I had seen your post in time. The chili was actually not that hot… I would say it was very, very subtle and I think you’d do fine with it.

  2. Pingback: Summer BBQ Party Inspirations! |

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