turmeric curry ribs
If you’re planning on making ribs this summer, I applaud you.  However, if your rib recipe involves a bottle of Hunt’s BBQ sauce, you are denying yourself a transcendent epicurean experience: garlic-curry short ribs. 

Total kitchen time: 30 minutes prep, 4 hours, plus 15 minutes cooking time
Makes: 3 racks

Shopping list:

  • 3 racks baby back ribs (short ribs)
  • 8 tbsp. + 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 4 cups prepared Turmeric-Curry Dry Rub
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. lime juice
  • a lot of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  1. Can be done 1 day ahead, refrigerate until ready to cook.  Work one slab of ribs at a time.  Lay out two large pieces of foil, on top of one another, big enough to cover the slab.  Pat the slab dry on both sides with paper towels, and lay bone-side up in the middle of the foil.
  2. Spread 1 tbsp. of crushed garlic across the surface of the ribs (bone side up).  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the prepared dry rub over the bone side of the ribs and push the rub into the skin.  Flip the ribs over (skin side up) and repeat – 1 tbsp. of garlic, then 1/2 cup dry rub pressed into the skin.  You should have 1 cup of dry rub remaining, for the barbecue sauce.
  3. Lay the ribs bone-side down and seal tightly with the aluminum foil. Working with the long side first, bring the opposite edges together and fold over to form a crease.  Fold over a second time to double the crease, being sure to keep the foil tight to the meat.  fold the short ends up towards the skin side and seal tightly. 
  4. Preheat your oven to 200°F and set the top rack in the middle position.  Place a rimmed baking sheet or a large piece of foil in the bottom of your oven to catch any juice that drips off during cooking. 
  5. Arrange the ribs, bone side down, on the rack of your oven, being sure to leave plenty of space between the slabs.  Use two oven racks if necessary, and swap the upper and lower racks halfway into baking. 
  6. Bake for 4 hours.  Remove from the oven and let rest at least 30 minutes.  The resting is critical.  Your foil packages will be full of sweet, delicious pork juice (yumm) and if you unwrap the ribs and start cutting into them, you’ll end up with a tough, dry waste of your time.
  7. After the ribs have rested, unwrap them, brush the meaty sides with barbecue sauce (recipe follows) and place meat-side down on a hot grill for 10 minutes, or until nicely charred.  Cut and serve!

Barbecue Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the garlic until it is fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add the ketchup, dry rub and remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.  Adjust to taste with balsamic vinegar or honey.

This recipe produces great ribs, but you can use the same technique for chicken just as well.  Be aware, though, that the high sugar content of the dry rub means that food will burn quickly over direct heat.  This is great for char marks on the grill, but would be bad news for, say, a strip steak in a skillet.