Our method for tenderizing ribs and other tough cuts involves two techniques. First the ribs are baked in a small amount of water to steam and soften. Then they are briefly crisped on the grill before serving. The results are tender, sweet, spicy, wonderfully sticky ribs.
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground ancho chiles or ancho chile powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 tablespoons salt
4 1/2 pounds pork baby back ribs
1/4 cup chopped garlic (about 15 cloves)
3 large jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons Tabasco
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup honey
California Avocado Pineapple Salsa, optional
Combine paprika, chile powder, cumin, and salt in a small bowl. Pat spice mixture all over ribs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees F.
Place ribs in a single layer in a baking pan and pour in water to a depth of about 1/4-inch. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes in the oven or on grill with the lid closed. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the Honey Glaze. Combine garlic, jalapeños, cumin, Tabasco, lime juice, and salt in a food processor or blender and puree. Pour into a small saucepan and stir in the honey. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly and being careful not to burn.
Turn the oven heat up to 450 degrees F or preheat the grill.
If finishing the ribs in the oven, brush generously with the honey glaze and bake another 10 minutes per side, basting with the honey glaze every 5 minutes. To grill, generously glaze the ribs and grill 5 minutes per side, frequently brushing with additional glaze. Cut the ribs apart and serve hot.
California Avocado Pineapple Salsa
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 ripe pineapple, trimmed+ and cut into 1/2-inch slices lengthwise
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe Fresh California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
In a shallow bowl, combine lime juice, tequila and sugar. Add pineapple and toss to coat thoroughly. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Remove pineapple and set aside.
Transfer marinade to a saucepan over medium heat. Add vinegar and simmer, stirring often until reduced by half. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Preheat grill to medium high. Wipe grill with an oiled towel and place pineapple on grill at an angle. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently until outside of pineapple is lightly golden and caramelized.
Remove from grill, let cool and cut into 1/4-inch dice.
In a bowl, combine pineapple with reduced vinegar mixture. Gently toss in onion, jalapeño, cilantro, olive oil, salt, pepper and avocado. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Note: If making salsa in advance, refrigerate overnight and wait to add avocado until 30 minutes before serving.
+ To trim pineapple, cut off top and bottom and stand it upright. Cut off the rind, using a sharp knife in smooth downward motions. Remove any remaining “eyes” with the tip of a paring knife. Cut in quarters lengthwise and cut out woody core.