Recipe - Jalapeno Jerk Baby Back Ribs with Pineapple Barbecue Sauce

Method: indirect grilling
Serves 6 to 8

  • 4 racks of baby back ribs, peeled following the instructions on page 141/142
  • 1 quart pineapple juice
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and rough chopped
  • 4 to 8 jalapeno chilies, thinly sliced

for the glaze:

  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup rice or cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry jerk seasoning (see below for recipe) or use your favorite commercial brand
  • Pineapple Barbecue Sauce (see below for recipe)
  • 2 cups wood chips, soaked in water to cover for 1 hour, then drained

1. Place the ribs in a large roasting pan. Pour 4 cups pineapple juice over them and add the cilantro and jalapenos. Marinate the ribs for 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Place the 2 cups pineapple juice, vinegar, sugar, butter, and pepper in a heavy saucepan and boil until syrupy, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. The mixture should reduce to about 1 cup.

3. Drain the ribs and blot dry. Sprinkle on both sides with the jerk seasoning, rubbing it into the meat with your fingertips.

4. Set up your grill for indirect grilling If using a gas grill, place wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat at high until you see smoke. Then reduce the heat to medium (325 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, preheat to medium (325 degrees).

5. Drain the ribs and place on the grill over the drip pan. Indirect grill the ribs until tender and cooked through, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. When cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by 1/4 inch. The last half hour start brushing the ribs with the glaze and brush two or three more times before serving. Cut the racks into 3 rib pieces and serve with the Pineapple Barbecue Sauce below.

Sub Recipe - Pineapple Barbecue Sauce

Makes about 2 cups.

Pineapple juice makes an fitting base for a barbecue sauce. After all, barbecue originated in the West Indies and so did the pineapple. (The latter was "discovered" by Columbus in 1493 on the island of Guadeloupe.) In the 19th century, the pineapple became an American symbol of hospitality - carved into moldings and banisters throughout New England. The fruit's sweet, musky, acidity makes a prefect foil for pork.

  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt (just a little) and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the pineapple juice, chili, ginger, and cilantro in a heavy saucepan and boil until reduced by half.

2. Stir the ketchup, vinegar, worchestershire sauce, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Simmer the sauce until richly flavored and slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sub Recipe - Dry Jerk Seasoning

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Commercial dry jerk seasonings are widely available. Here's a quick one you can make from scratch at home, and unlike many store-bought versions, it contains no MSG. For a mail order source for scotch bonnet chili powder, see page 000.,

  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon scotch bonnet chili powder or cayenne pepper

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your fingers.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort