Monday, March 28, 2011

Candied Cranberry Baby Backs

I'm gonna make this short and sweet.  Last year I had the honor of being chosen to compete in a rib cook-off in Lake Tahoe.  You can read all about it here.  Even though I am not the most confident or skilled grillmaster, I managed to pull off the grand prize win.  No one is more surprised by this than me.  And if you say, "No, Lorie, I really am much more surprised than you that you won,"  then I will say right back to you that you are indeed mistaken.  I am the most surprised.  So don't argue with me.

Anyway, Gnarly Head Wines is sponsoring another rib cook-off, so I am trying to dream up yet another entry that might get me invited back.  So while I work behind the scenes concocting marinades and sauces and rubs, here is my winning recipe from 2010.

My Darling Clementine Candied Cranberry Baby Backs

1 (16-ounce) can cranberry jelly
1/4 cup hoison sauce
1 cup fresh Clementine juice (or tangerine or orange juice)
2 teaspoons Clementine zest (or tangerine or orange zest)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 racks baby back pork ribs (about 6 pounds total), outer membrane removed
Kosher salt for seasoning ribs
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning ribs

Preheat a charcoal grill to medium heat for indirect grilling. 

Combine the cranberry jelly and the next 6 ingredients in a medium fire proof, heavy saucepan.  Place on the grill over medium heat and cook, stirring often for about 20 to 30 minutes or until sauce thickens.  Set aside.

Season ribs with kosher salt and pepper.  Place on grill and cook for 2 to 3 hours, with the lid closed, rotating the ribs every 15-20 minutes.  The temperature of the ribs should be 155 degrees thermometer is inserted into thickest part.  During the last 30 minutes of cooking, mop the ribs with the glaze on both sides, about every five minutes.  Remove from grill and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting each rack in thirds.  6 servings.   

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  1. These look so good, Lorie! Congratulations to you! I admire you for making such delicious ribs! I'd like to enter this one, but I dunno... I love ribs but I've never made them before.

    Which region are you entering? The region thing is kinda confusing to me.

  2. No wonder you won Lorie. These look delicious! Yum!

  3. I'm not surprised...these look outstanding! Good luck with the new contest. :)

  4. I'm not surprised one bit and I was there! :) I don't think I'm going to enter this year. Too much travel involved. I'd wish you good luck for this year's contest, but I don't think you need it because I'm sure your recipe will be fantastic!!