Life, One Bite and Sip at a Time: Oven-Baked Bourbon Ribs, Ginger-Mint Julep
Lunch & Dinner
Enjoy life. Take it in, a small bite at a time…as if a rack of succulent BBQ ribs lay in front of you. Imagine four-hours of slow cooking pass, the meat practically falls off the bone. You rip off that first flavorful piece and want to devour the rack in its entirety…but a slow and steady race to the end, savors each flavor and moment. An analogy that squares nicely to this weekend’s Kentucky Derby.
Invite friends over to enjoy the race and partake in the pride of Kentucky: Bourbon. We incorporated the cherished whiskey into traditionally consumed Kentucky Derby recipes, adding our own twist: Ginger-Mint Julep and easy-to-bake-in-your-own-oven Bourbon BBQ Ribs. Although the upcoming race ends quickly (and sweetly for winning bets), the build up to it and the ribs keep you in stride, while the julep keeps you loose—perfect party favors for the long run.
Ingredients For The Julep:
2-oz. Bourbon of choice
1-oz. Ginger Liquor such as Domaine de Canton
Juice from ½ lemon
2 oz. of simple mint sugar syrup
Ingredients For The Mint Sugar Syrup:
1-Tsp. lemon juice
½ cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
(Reserve some mint leaves for garnish)
To Make The Simple Syrup:
Place the sugar, water, lemon juice, and mint leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Strain syrup to remove mint leaves.
Allow syrup to cool before using. The syrup can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It also makes a great Mojito!
To mix the Ginger-Mint Julep:
Mix the bourbon, ginger liqueur, lemon juice and sugar syrup. Pour over ice.
Garnish glass with fresh mint leaves.
Ingredients For The Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
2-tablespoon Olive or Corn Oil
1-onion, diced finely
1/3-cup Bourbon (You know what they say: “if you won’t drink it, don’t use it!”)
1/3-cup dark brown sugar
½-cup Worcestershire Sauce
1-tablespoon white vinegar
2-garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-tablespoon dry mustard
1-tablespoon chili powder
1-2 teaspoons cayenne (depending on how spicy you like it)
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
Water as needed
To Make The Sauce:
(It is best to make the sauce a day or two before using, so the flavors develop.
It can be stored in the refrigerator up to one week in a covered container.)
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion, and cook until soft. Add bourbon and reduce until about half.
Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring as needed.
If the sauce is too thick, add water as needed.
Ingredients For The Ribs:
1 to 2 racks of baby back pork ribs (depending on how many you may want to serve)
Purchase with membrane already removed.
1-Tb- onion powder
1-Tsp. chili powder
1-Tsp. ground ginger
To Make The Ribs:
Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees.
Mix the rub together and generously rub all over the ribs.
Place ribs in shallow baking pan in single layer and cover tightly with foil.
Place in oven and bake for about 4 hours.
After about 3 ¼ hours, remove foil. Generously baste the ribs with the barbecue sauce. Repeat this basting every 15 minutes and continue to bake for another 45 minutes, UNCOVERED.
Before serving, baste one more time and serve the remainder of the sauce on side.
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