Cherry Cola Ribs

Cherry Cola RibsFor me growing up, the Fourth of July has always meant barbecue. When I was really little, it meant going to my grandmother’s house for a rowdy party with her 8 brothers and sisters and their families. We Danes know how to have a good time.That was back when firecrakers were a requirement and my Great Uncles (many of them Vetrans) acted like 8 year old boys. It was awesome.

As I got older, Fourth of July was spent on the pier at Lake Tahoewatching the different fireworks displays and freezing along side friends from the four other families we considered part of our extended family. Still do. In fact, three generations of all four families meet up in Tahoe every August for two weeks and I am certain the fourth generation (when they arrive) will do the same. Again, awesome.

But I have to admit some of my favorite Fourth of July celebrations occurred when I was single and running around with my group of guy friends lovingly dubbed the Usual Suspects. We had a Fourth of July tradition: The Festival of Meat. It’s what happens when you let totally unrepentant carnivores control the menu. Of course if you’d ask them they would tell you that the five food groups were all represented. They are: Cow, Pig, Chicken, Sausage and Bacon (for the Potato Salad). It was a vegetarian’s nightmare, we all ate nothing but salad the rest of the week, but it was soooooo good and so worth it.

As we all got married things changed as they usually do but we did try to continue the Festival tradition. One year I discovered this rib recipe, and you gotta try these. They’re the bomb! They are also extremely addictive.

If you are having a BBQ or attending a BBQ this holiday, I wish you good times and laughter and hope you come away with your own fond memories.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Cherry Cola Ribs
Adapted from Bon Appétit | July 2002

Before using the cherry cola, pour it into a bowl and allow it to stand at room temperature until no longer effervescent, about four hours.

Start with a relish platter, then serve the spareribs with Potato Salad and corn on the cob. Drink tall glasses of iced tea or frosty mugs of lager.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

4 12-ounce cans cherry cola (flat)
2 cups cherry jam or preserves
2/3 cup Dijon mustard with horseradish
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
7 1/4 to 7 1/2 pounds well-trimmed pork spareribs or baby back ribs

Boil cherry cola in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups for about 45 minutes. Stir in next 5 ingredients. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally for about 35 minutes. Transfer glaze to large bowl. (I will make this up to 1 week ahead, and store covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Position racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 325°F. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap each rib rack tightly in foil, enclosing completely. Divide foil packets between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until ribs are very tender, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through baking, about 2 hours total. Cool ribs slightly in foil. Pour off any fat from foil packets. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep covered in foil packets and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.)

Prepare barbecue (medium-low heat). Cut each rib rack between bones into individual ribs. Set aside 1 cup glaze. Add ribs to bowl with remaining glaze and toss to coat. Grill ribs until brown and glazed, turning to prevent burning, about 5 minutes total. Serve, passing reserved glaze separately.

Comments are closed.