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How to Make Jerk Baby Back Ribs for Game Day

How to Make Jerk Baby Back Ribs for Game Day:

Throwing a Super Bowl party? As a favor to your guests who want to eat more than delivery pizza, we’ve tracked down some of the best chefs in America and asked them to spill their favorite crowd-pleasing, game day recipes. Everything is delicious, simple to prepare, and pairs great with a beer.


Chef Tanya Holland, owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side BBQ in Oakland, California, likes to make jerk baby back ribs for a crowd. “The first time I worked with jerk spices was in the late ’90s, when I was the chef at a Caribbean-influenced restaurant in New York City’s East Village,” she says. “I think I first used it on chicken and then I started trying it on seafood, pork, and just about anything, as they do in Jamaica. I love the notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, sweet warming spices that most Americans don’t expect to find in their savory foods.” Holland says the key to flavorful ribs is marinating them for at least 24 hours and cooking them slowly while continuing to baste them.

JERK BABY BACK RIBS WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA
Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS:
2, 2-lb. racks baby back ribs

Jerk Marinade
1 large red onion, cut into ¼-inch slices
¾ cup soy sauce
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
1 jalapeño chile, sliced

Jerk Spice Rub
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. ground allspice
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 tsp. cascabel or ancho chile powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Habanero Vinegar
½ habanero chile, stemmed and seeded
1/3 cup white wine vinegar

Pineapple Glaze
2, 6-oz. cans pineapple juice
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

Pineapple Salsa
½ pineapple, diced
1 small red onion, diced
3 small jalapeño chiles, diced
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. canola oil
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt

THE METHOD:

  1. Make the jerk marinade: In a medium bowl, combine the onion, soy sauce, oil, vinegar, water, and jalapeño. (To make ahead, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)
  2. Make the jerk spice rub: In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, salt, nutmeg, chile powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Make the habanero vinegar: In a food processor, combine the habanero chile and vinegar and purée until smooth. Pour into a small bowl. (To make ahead, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 month.)
  4. Make the pineapple glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the pineapple juice and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until sauce is thick and reduced to about one-third, about 15 minutes. (To make ahead, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)
  5. Make the pineapple salsa: In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple, onion, jalapeños, bell pepper, cilantro, oil, and lime juice. Season with salt. (To make ahead, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 8 hours.)
  6. Use a butter knife to pry the membrane off the bone side of the ribs. Once you get a piece of the membrane loose, grab it with a paper towel and pull it toward the other end of the slab to remove it. Rub the jerk spice rub evenly over the ribs. Arrange the ribs in a 15-by-10-inch baking pan. Pour the jerk marinade over the ribs, turning to coat both sides. Cover baking pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
  7. Remove ribs from marinade, letting the excess drip off. Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet and allow to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Brush with the habanero vinegar.
  8. To cook ribs using a charcoal grill: Prepare grill for indirect cooking over medium heat. Place a shallow metal pan filled with water in the center of the grill and arrange the hot coals around it. Lightly oil the grill grates. Place the ribs on the grate directly above the water-filled pan, cover the grill, and cook until tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Add coals as needed to maintain medium heat. To cook ribs using a gas grill: Preheat the grill with all the burners on high. Lightly oil the grill grates. Place the ribs on the grate, turn off the burner directly under the ribs, and reduce the other burners to medium heat. Cover the grill and cook until tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  9. After 45 minutes, brush the ribs with some of the pineapple glaze, and brush them two or three times before serving. Do not flip the ribs during cooking. When the ribs are done, they will be well browned and the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones. Transfer ribs to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes before cutting rack into individual ribs. Serve warm with the pineapple salsa.

Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep

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