Awesome Tasting BBQ!
I posted a Tamarind BBQ Sauce recipe a few years ago and the naturally tangy flavor was nice. Tamarind Fruit is a perfect choice for making BBQ sauce. Tamarind has a rich deep fruity sour flavor and it is used in many tropical recipes worldwide. Tamarind also flavors soft drinks and Worcestershire Sauce.
Since Tamarind is part of cola soft drink recipes, adding Bourbon to a Tamarind BBQ Sauce seemed like a good idea. Bourbon and cola cocktails are a favorite of many people. Tamarind Bourbon BBQ Sauce tastes kind of like a combination of Bourbon Cola Cocktail that is mixed Whiskey Sour Mix and Simple Syrup. This is and outstanding BBQ sauce flavor for pork ribs!
Just combining the basic ingredients to make today's BBQ sauce and settling for a flavor that tastes like it came out of a cocktail bar is not enough. Caribbean barbacoa spices and ginger were added and this rounds out the flavor.
Like many BBQ sauces, it is best to make the sauce, then refrigerate the sauce for 24 hours. This is especially true for a Tamarind BBQ Sauce. Chilling the sauce for 1 day lets the flavors meld and mellow. After the sauce is reheated, the sauce flavor tastes much more refined and balanced.
Balancing the tangy Tamarind flavor with a sweet flavor is not easy to do with granulated sugar. Vinegar must be used in the sauce and it increases the sour flavor. Modern granulated sugar is just too refined and the sweet flavor is too pure. Brown Sugar is a little better for BBQ sauce making, but there is something better. The best sugar choice for making a Tamarind BBQ Sauce is Palm Sugar. Palm Sugar effectively balances the tangy flavor. This is why Palm Sugar and Tamarind go hand in hand, in many Southeast Asian cuisines.
Palm Sugar has a strong flavor and it is expensive. For BBQ sauce applications, mixing Palm Sugar with light brown sugar is okay to do, because no flavor is lost.
BBQ Spare Rib Information:
Today's recipe requires a half rack of spare ribs. A half rack of spare ribs is considered to be 1 large portion.
The ribs are first dry rubbed with a mild seasoning mixture. The ribs can be slow baked in an oven or slow smoked in a meat smoker, till they become fully cooked. The temperature must be kept to about 250º.
After roasting or smoking, the rack is cut into individual ribs. The ribs are then finished on a hot char grill with the sauce. This is a standard method for cooking BBQ ribs. BBQ restaurants and many backyard BBQ cooks use this method, because it works well.
Tamarind Bourbon BBQ Sauce:
This recipe yields enough sauce for 1 full rack of spare ribs or 1 1/2 racks of trimmed spare ribs.
Blocks of pressed dried tamarind are available at Asian food markets. Select a block that is labeled as being seedless. Even though the label says seedless, the fruit must be checked for seeds after it reconstitutes in warm water.
Palm Sugar is also available in Asian food markets.
Step 1: Place 1/2 cup of pressed seedless dried tamarind fruit in a sauce pot over low heat.
Add 4 cups of water.
Simmer till the fruit becomes tender.
Stir and check for any tamarind seeds. Remove the seeds if any are found.
Step 2: Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger powder.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of allspice.
Add 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of coriander.
Add 3 pinches of cumin.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper.
Step 3: Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
Add 2 seeded dried chile puya.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
Step 4: Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Add 1 1/3 tablespoons of cider vinegar. (4 teaspoons)
Add 3/4 cup of Kentucky Sour Mash Bourbon.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of dijon mustard.
Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar.
Add 1/4 cup of palm sugar.
Step 5: Gently simmer the sauce, till the flavors meld. (About 20 minutes)
Add sea salt to taste. (A little more than 1/4 teaspoon)
*Tamarind fruit can vary in strength. Taste the sauce to see if the sweet sour balance is okay. Add a little bit more palm sugar if the sauce tastes too tangy.
Step 6: Remove the pot from the heat.
Allow the very thin sauce to cool to less than 90ºF.
Use a blending wand, food processor or blender to puree the sauce till it is very smooth.
Step 7: Place the thin BBQ sauce in a container.
Chill the sauce for 24 hours in a refrigerator.
Step 8: Place the sauce in a sauce pot over medium low heat.
Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a medium thin consistency that can glaze a spoon. (The finished volume should be about 2 1/3 cups of BBQ sauce.)
Keep the sauce warm on a stove top.
Spare Rib Dry Rub:
A simple dry rub is all that is needed. The sauce will add plenty of flavor!
Place 2 teaspoons of sea salt in a small mixing bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon of black pepper.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground anatto.
Add 2 teaspoons of Spanish paprika.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Mix the ingredients together.
Spare Rib Preparation:
Step 1: Lightly sprinkle the dry rub mixture on a rack of spare ribs.
Rub the spices onto the meat.
Place the ribs on a wire screen roasting rack on a roasting pan.
Step 2: Slow roast the rack in a 250ºF oven or a meat smoker that is set to 230ºF.
*There should only be a thin wisp of smoke, if a smoker is used. Use 3 parts white oak and 1 part hickory for the smoking mixture.
Slow roast the ribs till the meat is fully cooked.
*The meat should recede from the tips of the bones by about 3/8 when the ribs are fully cooked. The fat should be cooked enough to allow juices to sputter over the surface of the ribs. The ribs should have an orangish red color tint with no excessive browning.
Step 3: Set the ribs aside and let them cool to room temperature.
Use a knife to slice between each bone, to separate the individual ribs.
Cilantro Potato Salad:
This recipe yields 2 portions.
Step 1: Boil an 8 ounce russet potato in water over high heat.
Cook the potato till it is tender, but not mushy.
Cool the potato under cold running water.
Chill the potato in a refrigerator.
Step 2: Scrape the skin off of the potato with the back of a paring knife.
Dice the potato into small cube shaped pieces.
Step 3: Place the diced potato in a mixing bowl.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced seeded green jalapeño pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of minced onion.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of finely chopped gherkin dill pickle.
Add 1 tablespoon of minced green onion.
Add 1 tablespoon of chopped red bell pepper.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard.
Step 4: Add just enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together.
Gently mix the potato salad.
Chill the potato salad to 41ºF in a refrigerator.
Tamarind Bourbon BBQ Spare Ribs:
*Indoor BBQ Method:
Sometimes it rains, so use this method if it does! For indoor BBQ, the ribs can be finished by marking them on a ribbed cast iron grill. Then the ribs can be cooked under a broiler. Baste the ribs with the sauce often, till the sauce caramelizes on the ribs.
*Outdoor BBQ Method:
Heat a chargrill to a medium/medium high temperature.
Place the ribs on the grill.
Cook the ribs till grill marks appear and the fat starts to sputter.
Start basting the ribs with the Tamarind Bourbon BBQ Sauce.
Baste and flip the ribs often, till the ribs become coated with a thin layer of glaze.
Move the ribs to a low temperature spot.
Tamarind Bourbon BBQ Spare Ribs with Cilantro Potato Salad:
Stack the Tamarind Bourbon BBQ Spare Ribs on a serving platter.
Pour a little bit of the Tamarind Bourbon Sauce on the plate around the ribs.
Serve with a portion of Cilantro Potato Salad.
Garnished the potato salad with a cilantro sprig.
Serve with Texas Toast, corn on the cob or your favorite fixin's!
Deeeeeeeeelicious! Tamarind Bourbon BBQ Spare Ribs is must to try!