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Apple Jack Ribs Smoked Over Coffee Beans

Apple Jack Ribs Smoked Over Coffee Beans


4 ea. baby back pork spareribs, racks

For the Marinade:
1½ cups apple jack liquor
1½ cups white sugar
¼ cup salt
2½ Tbsps. black pepper
3 Tbsps. paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsps. garlic, fresh, minced

1 cup coffee beans
Coffee Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Trim away any excess fat from ribs.

2. For the marinade: In a medium bowl, stir together the apple jack, sugar, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic. Rub spice mix all over the ribs.

3. Place the ribs in two 10×15" roasting pans, piling two racks of ribs per pan. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.

4. Heat grill to medium. Place ribs on high rack and cook for 15 minutes before turning over; turning every 15 minutes for one hour. While ribs are on the grill, throw coffee beans over hot burners to release a cool smoke to infuse rib meat.

5. After one hour of turning, start basting with barbecue sauce. Cook until ribs are very tender, but not falling off the bone.

For the Coffee Barbecue Sauce:

4 cups ketchup
4 Tbsps. chipotle in adobo
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
¾ cup espresso, brewed
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 ea. medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 ea. jalapenos, halved, seeded
2 ea. garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbsps. molasses
2 Tbsps. mustard, dry, mixed with 1 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsps. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsps. ancho chile powder
2 Tbsps. salt

1. Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes and set aside to cool. Transfer sauce to blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

2. The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Photo & recipe: Starbucks/Culinary Institute of America

Smoky seasoning can take the place of actual smoke to add flavor interest to a variety of menu items. Be sure to keep it subtle and you can add that great flavor to the menu even where there's no fire.

  • Smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton de la vera) is showing up on menus far and wide. It has plenty of smoky notes from smoke drying over oak. Use it to season fried potatoes or grilled shrimp.

  • Cold-smoked herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano deliver a one-two punch: their own herbal character plus an intriguing smoky background.

  • Smoked chiles and chocolate paired together can add delicious smoky BBQ mystique to desserts.

  • Tea smoking means a base blend of tea leaves, dry rice and brown sugar that can be personalized with spices like star anise, cinnamon or chiles to fit applications like salmon, chicken or even vegetables.
    From Food & Flavor Cast by Gilroy Foods & Flavors

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