Okay, so I am very well aware that today is Saturday and I am giving you a Tuesday post. But, I am doing this for you guys because it is a holiday weekend…Labor Day! A day for grilling, hanging out with the fam, and grilling. Right. Said that. So in order to get you a recipe that you might want to use this weekend, I bring you ribs, a few days early!
I have to come clean. Ribs was not really an island food that I have a memory of growing up with but oh how do I love them now! I actually remember one of the best rack of ribs I have ever had. Okay it was only four years ago, but it was in the islands – believe it or not! If you are ever in “the neighborhood” the restaurant is called Fat Hog Bob’s in Tortola, BVI. The secret to their tender, juicy ribs is that they marinate them in Guinness beer. Yep. I know. Brilliant. If you don’t have Guinness on hand, you can achieve the same results by marinating your ribs for a few hours (or overnight) in regular coca cola.
Their ribs were made with just a traditional barbecue sauce, but I thought I should put a spin on it and give it some island flair. I adapted this recipe from one of those little island books (by Angela Spenceley) I told you about earlier in my Boiled Fish and Dumplings post. However, if you are not quite ready to take the leap with mango in your bbq sauce, you can get fab-u-lous ribs using my Kansas City BBQ Sauce recipe. But go ahead and try this recipe for a guaranteed party in your mouth.
Sorry no extra pictures today. The end result was all I could get because I was too busy licking my fingers, and you are lucky I was able to get a hold of those four beautiful bones. As far as cooking goes, low and slow is the name of the game so plan ahead. Remember, you are on island time. Happy Labor Day!
Mango-Guava BBQ Ribs
4 lbs baby back ribs (about 2 racks)
1 large bottle of Guinness or 1 – 2 liter of coke
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 fiery hot pepper, seeded and minced (I used habanero)
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 mango, peeled, seeded and sliced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 – 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed (to your taste)
Before you begin, make sure your butcher removed the thin membrane layer from the underside of your ribs. If not, go ahead and remove it because it is nothing but a chewy membrane that will get in your way of enjoyment later. Season your ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Place ribs in a large roasting pan, and cover with the Guinness or coke. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of three hours or overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 275 degrees. Remove the ribs and disgard the marinade. Return the ribs to the pan, cover with foil and place in your pre-heated oven. Time to make your sauce.
In a large skillet, heat oil, onions, garlic, pepper and mustard. Cook about 15 minutes or until onions are clear. Add all remaining ingredients and add brown sugar to your sweetness level. If you like it hot, this is where you can throw in your pepper flakes. Simmer until sauce is thickened and mango has become a puree.
If your mango was a little less ripe, it may not break down as well, but if that is the case you can blend it in a blender to a smooth consistency. Baste all sides of ribs with the sauce and re-cover your pan. Cook ribs for 4 hours, basting with more sauce periodically. When ribs are finished, baste with a final layer of sauce. Careful, they will be beautifully falling off the bone so if you can manage to flip them, broil for a few minutes to get a nice sticky crust.