- 1 rack pork baby back ribs
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1¼ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1¼ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground coarsely
- 1½ teaspoons ancho powder (optional)1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Pomegranate BBQ Sauce *
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 3 tablespoons dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Half a medium onion, finely diced
- ¼ cup honey **
- ½ of a cherry or jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- Some of the dry rub to taste or just salt and pepper
Prepare the Ribs
Combine all of the ingredients for the dry rub. Sprinkle on and rub into both sides of the ribs until well coated. If desired and/or you have the time, you could wrap the dry rubbed pork in plastic wrap, tightly, and let marinate in the fridge for several hours prior to cooking.
Make the Sauce
In a medium to large sauce pan,combine the garlic, onions, tomato paste, dry mustard, cumin, pomegranate juice, molasses and honey.
Whisk it while bringing it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened and reduced by one third to one half. Squeeze/stir in the lemon juice.
Add some of the dry rub OR salt and pepper to taste – NOT all three. Set aside until ready to baste.
Cook the Ribs
Preheat oven to 225 or 250 F. Heat a large grill pan, your outdoor grill or BBQ (bricks or coal) until very hot. Sear the ribs on both sides until you’ve got color, but that’s it – don’t go any further.
Place the ribs on a foil lined sheet pan and paint/mop both sides, generously, with some of the sauce. Cover with another sheet of foil and place in the preheated oven. If using your grill or BBQ, apply the sauce to both sides until well coated, but wrap the ribs in foil and lower/close the cover of the BBQ or Grill.
This is where I differ in cooking time and temp. I let these ribs go for anywhere from 2-4 hours (depending on the weight/thickness of the ribs) at 225 or 250 F, lifting up the foil covering the sheet pan and basting both sides of the ribs every 30 minutes with the sauce, then replacing the foil to cover the sheet pan. On a BBQ or Grill, you would unwrap and baste, then wrap again. 160 F means DONE, but you can go a bit further, just not too much. I didn’t use a thermometer, I just went by taste and feel with a fork.
When the ribs are done to your liking (‘falling off the bone’ tender is what you want), preheat your broiler, and let broil for about 2 to 5 minutes until bubbling and a deeper brown in color (of course you want those crispy bits!). **Cook down the remaining sauce for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Serve the ribs with the extra sauce on the side.
Have plenty of napkins and moist towelettes on hand, and enjoy these finger lickin’ phenomenal ribs!