I made Sweet and Spicy Strawberry Ribs baked in the oven showcasing the special ingredients in a black pepper dry rub and finished with a sweet, tangy strawberry glaze.
1 slab of baby back ribs (2-2.5 lbs)
Peppercorn Dry Rub
Peppercorn Dry Rub:
2-3 tablespoons of black peppercorns, crushed
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons of paprika
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
Dijon mustard to coat top and bottom of ribs
1 tablespoon of chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6-8 medium size strawberries (fresh or frozen could work)
2 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
3 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
Bake the Ribs
1. Preheat the oven to 275F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place an oven-safe cooling rack on top of the foil.
2. Combine ingredients for the dry rub. To crush the peppercorns, I folded them up into a parchment paper envelope then pounded it with a hammer. I've tried the heavy bottom pan method which works ok for a few peppercorns, but I like hammers.
3. Prepare the ribs. Trim any excess fat. Try to remove the thin white layer on the underside of ribs. An easy way is to just slide a thin butter knife underneath and kinda pull away from the rib.
4. Coat the ribs (top and bottom) with mustard. Generously sprinkle the dry rub on the top and bottom of the ribs. Press the rub into the meat so it really sticks. Place slab on top of cooling rack. If needed, cut slab in half and place so both halves fit on the rack. Bake in the oven for 1.5 hours.
Meanwhile prepare the Strawberry Glaze
1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots to cook until soft. Add strawberries. Cook until softened.
2. Add balsamic vinegar, honey, water, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until sauce bubbles slightly. Then keep over heat for another 20-30 minutes until strawberries have mostly dissolved into the sauce and sauce has thickened slightly.
3. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
When there's 30 minutes left on the oven timer, you can take out the rib and spoon the strawberry glaze over top and return to the oven. Or you can wait until the ribs are done like I did.
Remove ribs from oven. Cover with foil and allow meat to rest about 10 minutes. Slice into individual ribs. Generously spoon strawberry glaze over top. The ribs will absorb the glaze over time so you can reserve some sauce on the side if you like it saucy! I served this with a side of sweet potato fries.
This recipe was actually pretty easy despite the multiple ingredients. The ribs were flavorful and full of peppery bite and fruity without being too sweet from the strawberries. Yum! If this is something you think you'd like, vote for me at Big Apple Nosh until Wednesday! Thanks!!!!