Beer-Braised Baby Back Ribs with Orange-Tamarind Sauce


In honour of the Victoria Beer Week that is going on right now, we at EAT thought it would be appropriate to feature one of our favorite recipes that uses beer in it. This BBQ rib recipe uses lager, which is easy to find as there are many available in the local craft beer market. Try making a batch with a standard lager and another time with a dark lager (which we did this time). We love that the ribs get braised in the beer before you slather on the spicy sauce. The ribs soak up all the caramel and malt flavours from the beer without any bitterness or alcohol taste. Even a non-beer drinker loved these ribs!


From James Holmes of Olivia in Austin, Texas (via Food & Wine)

Serves 8


In honour of Victoria Beer Week that runs from March 1-9.



Six 12-ounce bottles lager

3 racks baby back ribs (3 1/2 pounds), each rack cut in half

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

1 large onion, coarsely chopped sauce



1/4 cup rendered bacon fat

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 cup ketchup

3/4 cup cider vinegar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup strong-brewed coffee

1/2 cup sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce

1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

1/2 cup tamarind concentrate (see Note)

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing


In a large pot, combine the lager, baby back ribs, carrots, celery and onion and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, turning the ribs a few times, until the ribs are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the ribs to a work surface and let cool. Cut in between the ribs at 2-rib intervals.


In a large saucepan, heat the bacon fat. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes longer. Whisk in the orange juice, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, coffee, sambal oelek, molasses, tamarind concentrate, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, puree the sauce in a food processor.


Light a grill. Brush the ribs with oil. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Brush the ribs with the sauce and grill, turning and brushing with more sauce, until richly glazed and browned, about 2 minutes longer. Serve the ribs with extra sauce for dipping.


Make  Ahead

The cooked ribs can be refrigerated in their braising liquid overnight and reheated gently before grilling. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

NOTE: Tamarind concentrate is available at Asian markets and at specialty food stores.


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