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¼ cup brown sugar, not golden sugar
3 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
4 racks of Lepp’s Pork Baby Back Ribs
1 ½ cups ketchup
½ cup Jack Daniels whiskey
¾ cup brown sugar, not golden sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced very fine
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp salt
In a small bowl, mix the ¼ cup brown sugar, paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, 1 tsp salt, pepper, and the cumin.
Preheat your BBQ on high heat.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
Rub the spice mix (from step 1) liberally onto the racks of ribs. Sear them on the BBQ just until both sides of the ribs are mostly caramelized. Remove the ribs and place them side-by-side on a baking sheet large enough to accommodate all 4 racks.
Pour ¾ cup water directly onto this baking sheet (don’t pour on the ribs), and then cover and tightly seal this baking sheet completely with aluminum foil. It is important to make sure that no steam can escape from the pan – this will ensure a perfect braising environment to create tender meat.
Bake at 300 degrees F for 1.5 hours.
Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F and bake for another 1.5 hours.
While the ribs are cooking, make the sauce. In a medium pot, combine the ketchup, Jack Daniels, ¾ cup brown sugar, garlic, vinegar, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, and the 1 tsp salt. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Lower the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside, off the heat, when done.
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING STEPS MUST BE DONE CAREFULLY, AS THE RIBS ARE NOW SO TENDER THAT THEY WILL FALL OFF THE BONES.
Pierce/tear a corner of the aluminum foil and carefully pour out (and discard) the water.
Turn your oven to broil.
Remove and discard the aluminum foil. Spoon the sauce liberally on the tops of the rib racks and gently spread to make sure they are well coated.
Broil on the top rack of the oven until the sauce starts to caramelize.
Gently remove the ribs off the tray and transfer onto plates (or a serving platter) by sliding a long utensil (tongs, for example) underneath each rack in order to not disturb the shape of the racks.
Serves 4-8 (depending on how much one likes to eat…)