sweet & smoky barbecued ribs with tequila sauce
what you need
- 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 2 racks St. Louis-style spareribs, each 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
- Weber grill
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons tequila
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon prepared chili powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- In small bowl mix rub ingredients.
- If using wood chips, soak in water for at least 30 minutes (no need to soak wood chunks).
- Using a dull dinner knife, slide tip under membrane covering the back of each rack of ribs. Lift and loosen membrane until it breaks, and then grab a corner with a paper towel and pull it off. Season racks all over with rub. Let racks stand at room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.
- Prepare Weber grill for indirect cooking over low heat (250° to 300°F).
- Meanwhile, in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook until slightly softened, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ketchup, tequila, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, chili powder and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 18 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in lime zest.
- Brush cooking grates clean. Add 1 wood chunk to charcoal or 1 handful of wood chips to smoker box of a Weber gas grill, following manufacturer’s instructions, and close lid. When wood begins to smoke, place racks over indirect low heat, bone side down, and close lid. Cook until meat has shrunk back from bones at least 1/2 inch in several places and meat tears easily when you lift each rack, 3 to 4 hours. Keep temperature of grill between 250° and 300°F. If you’re using a charcoal grill, replenish charcoal as needed to maintain a steady temperature. Leave lid off grill about 5 minutes to help new briquettes light. Add 1 wood chunk to charcoal every 45 minutes, or drain and add 1 handful of remaining wood chips to smoker box every 20 minutes before old chips burn out. During last 30 minutes of cooking time, lightly brush racks with some of sauce.
- Remove the racks from the Weber grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Just before serving, lightly brush the racks with sauce again. Cut the racks into individual ribs and serve warm with remaining sauce.