As the Buffalo Bills prepare to face a new opponent each week, fans take on the age-old arch-nemesis know as “hunger.” Never fear, Buffalo Rumblings has just the playbook to take down this foe. Each week, we’ll dive into enemy territory to scout their signature moves and put a “Buffalo” spin on it. Translated, each week we’ll share a themed recipe based on who the Bills are playing, including a custom wing sauce to go with each dish. Our opponent this week:
Whiskey BBQ Glazed Ribs: I know, I know. Two weeks in a row with BBQ. This week really ups the ante for home cookin’ though, and between the two recipes you’ll be be able to start customizing and wingin’ it all on your own. Before you know it, you’ll be forcing co-workers to sample your latest creation. This week we borrow some Texas style(s) and give them the Western New York twist. Texas purists, try not to faint when I mix and match BBQ elements according to nothing more than my whims.
Active Time: 2 Hours
Total Time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes
- 1 rack of pork ribs
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup whiskey
- 1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup hot sauce
- 1 1⁄2 cups ketchup
- 3⁄4 cup molasses
- Tear off a piece of aluminum foil that’s a little longer than the ribs. Crinkle the edges up and place the rack on the foil, meatier side down.
- Unless you’re buying from a butcher, there’s likely a thin membrane on the bonier side of the ribs that needs to be removed. From one of the edges, pop a knife under the membrane only (if you get a tiny bit of meat too don’t worry). Once you have a small edge lifted, the rest should peel like a huge sheet of tape. It’s pretty cool.
- Combine the garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika* in a small bowl.
- Pat the mixture all over both sides of the ribs, with a little more attention to the meatier side. Let sit for at least an hour, which should give plenty of time to make the sauce. While sitting, the ribs should be refrigerated.
- Melt butter in a large pot on HIGH and add onions; cook, stirring onions until translucent, 1-2 min.
- Add cider vinegar and whiskey; stir, letting the mixture simmer.
- Add ketchup and hot sauce. Stir and allow to simmer again.
- Add molasses; stir and allow to simmer. Reduce heat to LOW.
- Allow the sauce to thicken; stirring occasionally for at least 30 minutes.
- Separate sauce in half. Some is for glazing and some is for dipping later.
- Turn one burner on LOW and preheat grill. Burner should be all the way to one side.**
- Place ribs on foil, meat side down on the grill so that no part of the rack is directly over the burner that’s on. Brush a thin layer of sauce over the top of the rack, close the lid.
- After about 20 minutes, apply another coat of sauce and carefully flip the entire rack. Coat the new top part with sauce (should now be the meatier side). Close the lid.
- Every 15-20 minutes apply another coat of sauce. There’s no need to flip the ribs again while cooking.
- With slow cooked BBQ there’s “done” and then there’s “ready.” Ribs are “done” when the internal temperature reaches a point to kill any harmful organisms. That’ll happen in a couple hours in all likelihood. They’re not ready though until a fork easily passes into the meat, which could be a whole heck of a lot longer. Expect at least three hours on the grill, and probably a good deal longer.***
Wingin’ It Tips:
*If you’re of the opinion that glazing with a sauce is akin to BBQ blasphemy, I got you covered. Add 1⁄4 cup brown sugar to the dry rub and 2 Tbsp red pepper. Skip the sauce, it’ll still have one key wing sauce ingredient at least. You may need to cover the ribs if grilling or baking to prevent them from drying out.
**If you have a smoke box for your grill, this is a good time to use it. You may need to play around with temperature as grills are finicky, but the flavor payoff is worth it. I used a walnut/maple mixture.
***Grills have a wide number of variables so be prepared to play around. If applying one layer of sauce over another isn’t going on easily (clumping or pulling off the other layer) the heat could be too low or the sauce too thin. Ultimately, don’t be afraid to check temperatures with a meat thermometer before consuming.
The Beer: This week’s sauce should veer a little less toward the sweet side, but we’ll pair it again with Blue Light. Just a fancier look. Saucy fingerprints will show up well so if there’s any confusion on whose beer is whose, you can play detective.
Beer products provided by Labatt USA. Please drink responsibly.
The Buffalo Bills head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. We’ll break away from the BBQ as we put a twist on the famous Indianapolis signature food of... Wait. What are they even known for? Looks like I have some research to do.