Kentucky Blu St. Louis Ribs

Straight from the hills of Kentucky comes this inspired recipe using St. Louis Ribs, Kentucky bourbon and blackberries and our go to maple syrup from Harding Hill Farm (www.hardinghillfarmnh.com/) located in Sunapee, NH.  Kentucky is known for blackberries, horse racing, Appalachia Mountain cooking.  These ribs are lip smacking approved for a back porch – mountain side palooza in honor of our porky friends.  The sweet aroma of maple syrup and Kentucky Bourbon is further enhanced by the fruity notes provided by the infusion of blackberries, combined with traditional spices of Kentucky BBQ and folks will be coming up the mountain for more.  Sip a bourbon and sweet tea cocktail with a slight hint of mint, and enjoy the laid back times of a Kentucky Mountain summer.

Ingredients

  • 2 – 3 racks (about 2.5 lbs each) St. Louis Ribs with back membrane removed
  • Approximately 4 cups of our dry rub see below
  • Approximately 2 cup of your favorite real maple syrup, ours is Harding Hill Farm’s (Sunapee, NH) Grade A Maple Syrup (this helps hold the dry rub)
  • 4 Cups of our wet rub for marinating (see below)
  • 1 to 2 pints of our Kentucky Blu BBQ Sauce (or your own favorite maple-bourbon based BBQ sauce)

Dry Rub

  • 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 cup granulated garlic powder
  • 1 cup Spanish Paprika
  • 1 cup Cumin
  • 1 cup Ground Coriander
  • ½ cup Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup Onion Powder
  • ½ cup Ground Mustard
  • ¼ cup Cracked Black Pepper

Wet Rub (make twice)

  • 1 to 1.5 cups Maple Syrup (our preference Harding Hill Farm’s Grade A Maple Syrup, Sunapee – NH)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Bourbon

Equipment

  • Heavy duty aluminum foil extra wide
  • 2-3 qty – 2 gallon size zip lock bags
  • sheet pan

Insight

Serving Size – 4 to 6 ribs

Servings per recipe – 1 to 3 servings, for 2 to 4 people (1 rack per two people approx.)

This is a low and slow recipe, capable of being smoked and having its flavors enhanced by maple or oak smoke.  Given a temperature between 225 °F and 275 °F, the racks will usually take 5-6 hours.  Smoking with a hard wood would add just another tasty flavor to the meat and render the sugars into a sweet bark, but our oven/grill twist does a mighty fine job as well.

Directions

  1. 24 hours ahead of cooking prepare the racks by liberally coating all sides with wet rub (which will help hold the dry rub)
  2. Apply a liberal coat of the prepared dry rub on all sides of each rack and massage the dry rub into the meat till the coating has a consistency of thick paste
  3. Place each rack individually into a 2-gallon zip lock bag and refrigerate for 24 hours
  4. 1 hour prior to cooking remove the ribs from the refrigerator, allow them to warm (slightly cooler than room temperature)
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 275 °F
  6. Place a rack in the center of an extra-long sheet of extra wide tinfoil, lift the long and short edges to form a slight bowl
  7. Add 1/3 of our wet rub and spread such till the rib is glistening (this adds moisture to the packet during cooking)
  8. Crimp the long edges together and roll/fold creating a sealed edge
  9. Crimp the short edges together and roll/fold creating a sealed edge
  10. Place rib packet into a second sheet of extra wide tinfoil, upside down, roll/fold the edges to seal
  11. Placed the rib foil packets on a large sheet pan, place the pan in the center of the oven, cook low and slow for 2.50 to 3.0 hours
  12. Clean and oil your grill surface, pre-heat your grill to 400 °F, 15 minutes prior to the ribs being done in the oven
  13. Open carefully the tinfoil packets and place each rib rack onto the pre-heated grill surface (which should be welled oiled)
  14. Grill each side of the racks for approximately 5-6 minutes, or until grill marks appear on the meat surface
  15. Remove the rib racks and place back into their tinfoil packets
  16. Keep the ribs warm till ready to serve, when ready to serve
  17. Remove a rack from its packet to a cutting board, chop or cut 4 to 6 ribs from the rack and plate with selected sides
  18. Drizzle our Kentucky Blu BBQ Sauce or your favorite maple-bourbon infused BBQ sauce on the ribs prior to serving or have your guests do so themselves at the table

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