Thursday was Jim's birthday so the girls and I decided to have a small party for him. One of his most favorite foods is bbq ribs. He loves them! I always make the same sauce and thought I would try something different this time.
In my cookbook "Top Secret Recipes", there's a recipe in there for Hard Rock Cafe's Watermelon Ribs. The recipe looked incomplete to me so I changed it up and made it my own. Here's what I did.
You're going to need 2 cups watermelon pulp, so cut the rind off of the watermelon, leaving a lot of the white you don't usually eat. Cube and put in a blender. Puree. It doesn't need to be completely smooth. In fact, if you leave it slightly chunky you'll have tiny sweet chunks caramelized to your ribs. Delicious! Set the pulp aside.
Mince 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 of a small onion. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion and garlic for a minute, until fragrant.
Dump in the watermelon pulp, 3/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup molasses, a couple shakes liquid smoke, 3 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 cup honey, and a shake or two of crushed red pepper flakes.
This is all you need for the bbq sauce! How easy is that? Now let this simmer on low for at least an hour. The sauce needs to reduce down and let some of that water evaporate out. You should be left with a nice rich and sweet bbq sauce after that time.
Now the sauce can be made days in advance if you need and kept in the fridge. You need to make it at *least* the day before because we're going to marinate the ribs in the fridge overnight.
Normally I use pork loin ribs that are practically boneless and super meaty. I decided to use racks of ribs. They came in this big pack so I cut the ribs into groups of 5 or 6 and put in large ziplocs. Pour in some of the bbq sauce (once cooled) and put in the fridge. Make sure you leave some bbq sauce for grilling!
To make: Heat an oven to 300*. Remove the ribs from the ziplocs and put in a baking dish. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil to lock in all the moisture. Bake for 2 hours.
Prepare your BBQ grill. To finish the ribs, throw them on the grill on medium heat (you don't want the coals too hot). Brush on some bbq sauce. Put the lid on the grill and let that bbq sauce caramelize on the skin of those ribs. Check periodically to turn them and glaze with more sauce. When they're nice and coated and have grill marks, pull from the bbq and serve.
To finish off Jim's birthday dinner I made smashed potatoes, corn on the cob, fresh slices of watermelon, and baked beans. Pun intended - he was HOG happy! LOL
These ribs were delicious. Sweet and tangy with a little kick from the pepper flakes. I'll be making these again!