Cranberry & Cola-Glazed Babyback Ribs

 

Okay, first of all, I just had a major revelation. Has anyone else been SUPER frustrated with Facebook lately? I feel like none of the pages I actually “liked” and want to see are showing up in my newsfeed and all sorts of crap I have ZERO interest in is clogging it up. I know a lot of you have mentioned that you aren’t getting OBB updates anymore and I truly don’t know how to remedy that.

But.

I made a discovery tonight.

Go to your Facebook page and look over at the left-hand side, right underneath your profile picture. Why, yes I do have 76 unread Facebook messages. Sent me a Facebook message and wondered why I never wrote you back? There’s your answer. You’ll see a link that says “Pages Feed.”

FacebookAnd voila! There are all the pages you’ve liked, subscribed to, wondered if they fell off the face of the planet. So if you’ve pondered our sudden disappearance from Facebook (or the disappearance of any of your other favorite blogs/pages/people/whatevers) have gone, we’re still here, I promise!

So anyway.

I love ribs. We’ve talked about this before. In addition to my love for ribs, I feel very strongly that they should be eaten caveman-style with no forks or knives. When it comes to ribs, pizza, burgers, and Snickers bars, table etiquette goes out the window.

Anyone who has spent even a little time with me knows that I run on sleepless nights and Diet Coke. When I was in college (another time when I ran on sleepless nights and Diet Coke, which was no small feat since caffeine wasn’t sold on campus), a friend taught me how to mix Diet Coke with a little fruit punch or juice and it became one of my favorite things. So when I started thinking of a new way of cooking ribs, I thought that would be such an amazing flavor combo. Except that you can’t cook with Diet Coke because cooking with Diet Coke is gross and, if you’re talking about glazing something, you’d need the sugar from regular Coke.

You’re going to need NON-DIET Coke (or Pepsi…I guess…), cranberry juice (100% juice, not juice cocktail), brown sugar, freshly squeezed lime juice, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, Creole mustard (or other mild grainy mustard), and some canned chipotle sauce. Try and find a small can of just plain chipotle sauce that doesn’t have the peppers in it–it tends to be milder and it’s easier to measure out what you need.

cranberry cola glazed ribs ingredientsCombine all the ingredients except for the liquid smoke and the ribs in the jar of your blender or, if you have an immersion blender, in a pitcher. Blend until the ingredients are combined.

cranberry cola rib marinade and glaze

Reserve 1 cup of the liquid per rack of ribs (if making a lot, you may want to double the recipe–better to have too much than not enough).

Now…you can either pre-cook the ribs in the oven or in your crockpot, depending on what’s easier for you. The oven method cooks faster, but with the crockpot, you can cook them all day and then finish them off right before dinner. So just do whatever’s easiest for you.

If you’re making these in the oven, preheat oven to 300. Cut the ribs into portions that have 2-3 bones per portion. Place in a heavy lidded pot or Dutch oven (don’t use a baking dish covered with foil–it won’t retain enough heat and the ribs won’t be as tender) or in the crockpot.

babyback ribs in pot

Pour the unreserved liquid over the ribs, cover, and cook for 2 1/2-3 hours in the oven (about 6-8 hours on low in the crockpot) or until the meat is very tender (you may want to turn the ribs halfway through the cooking time, especially if they’re not all completely covered by the liquid).

Place the reserved liquid in a small saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes or until the liquid is starting to reduce and thicken slightly (if you’re starting with 1 cup, you want to reduce it by about 1/4 cup).

ribs glaze simmering

Remove from heat and set aside.

ribs glaze in jar

When the ribs are done braising, remove the pot from the oven and carefully transfer the ribs to a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle with liquid smoke or smoked paprika. Either turn the broiler on your oven to high or heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Brush one side of the ribs with half of the reduced glaze baste ribs with glzeand cook on the heated grill or under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the ribs are shiny and glazed. Flip the ribs and brush the opposite side with the remaining glaze and cook for another 3-5 minutes, being careful not to scorch the ribs. They should just be fall-off-the-bone tender.

fall-off-the-bone-tender ribs!

Serve immediately. 1 rack serves about 2-3 adults.

Sweet, sticky, tangy cranberry & cola-glazed babyback ribs from Our Best Bites! Cook them all day in your crockpot and then pop them under the broiler or on the grill for a quick weeknight dinner!

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Cranberry & Cola-Glazed Babyback Ribs


Description

Fall off the bone tender and full of flavor, these make a great meal year round!


Ingredients

  • 3 cups Coca-Cola
  • 2 cups cranberry juice (make sure it’s 100% juice, not juice cocktail)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1/31/2 cup chipotle sauce (look for a small can of sauce that doesn’t have any chipotle chilies in it)
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
  • 56 cloves garlic
  • Liquid smoke or smoked paprika
  • 12 racks babyback pork ribs

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients except for the liquid smoke and the ribs in the jar of your blender or, if you have an immersion blender, in a pitcher. Blend until the ingredients are combined. Reserve 1 cup of the liquid per rack of ribs (if making a lot, you may want to double the recipe–better to have too much than not enough).

Oven Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300. Cut the ribs into portions that have 2-3 bones per portion. Place in a heavy lidded pot or Dutch oven (don’t use a baking dish covered with foil–it won’t retain enough heat and the ribs won’t be as tender). Pour the unreserved liquid over the ribs, cover, and cook for 2 1/2-3 hours or until the meat is very tender (you may want to turn the ribs halfway through the cooking time, especially if they’re not all completely covered by the liquid).
  2. Place the reserved liquid in a small saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes or until the liquid is starting to reduce and thicken slightly (if you’re starting with 1 cup, you want to reduce it by about 1/4 cup). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. When the ribs are done braising, remove the pot from the oven and carefully transfer the ribs to a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle with liquid smoke or smoked paprika. Either turn the broiler on your oven to high or heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Brush one side of the ribs with half of the reduced glaze and cook on the heated grill or under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the ribs are shiny and glazed. Flip the ribs and brush the opposite side with the remaining glaze and cook for another 3-5 minutes, being careful not to scorch the ribs. Serve immediately. 1 rack serves about 2-3 adults.

Crock Pot Method

  1. Cut the ribs into portions that have 2-3 bones per portion. Place in a slow cooker. Pour the unreserved liquid over the ribs, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat is very tender (you may want to turn the ribs halfway through the cooking time, especially if they’re not all completely covered by the liquid).
  2. Place the reserved liquid in a small saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes or until the liquid is starting to reduce and thicken slightly (if you’re starting with 1 cup, you want to reduce it by about 1/4 cup). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. When the ribs are done braising, remove the pot from the oven and carefully transfer the ribs to a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle the ribs with liquid smoke or smoked paprika. Either turn the broiler on your oven to high or heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Brush one side of the ribs with half of the reduced glaze and cook on the heated grill or under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the ribs are shiny and glazed. Flip the ribs and brush the opposite side with the remaining glaze and cook for another 3-5 minutes, being careful not to scorch the ribs. Serve immediately. 1 rack serves about 2-3 adults.

Ultimate Grill Guide

 

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39 comments

  1. I made this recipe this weekend with a pork shoulder instead of the ribs and served it on buns for pulled pork sandwiches. It was absolutely divine!!! I kept the marinade/sauce measurements the same and reserved some to serve on the sandwiches. I did salt and pepper the shoulder and sear it in a pan before adding it to my Dutch oven, but followed everything else and it was one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever had (even my 10-year-old loved them!) Thanks for another delicious recipe!

  2. This look so yum, I can’t wait until ribs go on sale and I can make them!
    I, too, believe that ribs should be eaten caveman style. My kids give me crazy looks when I eat ribs – it’s the only time I am not insisting on utensils!

  3. I can’t find chipotle sauce anywhere, help! I bought chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, think I could mix it in a blender and substitute?

    1. I would strain out what you can of the sauce and see where you are in terms of how much you have. Unless you’re super short on sauce, you should be fine–adding a blended up chili will add an element of heat I haven’t experimented with, so unless you’re sure you can handle the heat, I wouldn’t do it. 🙂

  4. I’m not a fan of baby back ribs but your pictures made me drool for some. So I made this last night for our Sunday dinner. It was a hit with the whole family and even I loved it! My hubby asked me to make this again. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

    1. It definitely depends on your crockpot. Your average 4-5 quart crockpot can comfortably hold 2 racks, maybe a little more if you’re feeling brave. I made these in my 7 1/2-quart Le Creuset and it could have easily held 3 racks, maybe a bit more.

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