1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup apple butter
1/2 cup bourbon 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp mustard
Combine all the basting sauce ingredients in a bowl and blend well with a whisk.
1 tbsp brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp thyme 1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Mix seasonings in a small bowl.
2 racks of baby back pork ribs (2 to 2 1/4lbs)
1 large onion, sliced 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups apple cider 1/2 tsp ginger
Using a small knife, score the underside of each rib. Rub 1 tbsp of seasoning mix onto each side of each rib. Place the ribs in a large roasting pan. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Remove ribs from pan and scatter onion, cinnamon and ginger in the pan. Pour in the cider and place ribs in the pan, meat side down. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Roast until meat is tender and begins to pull off bones, about 2 hrs.
Uncover. Cool for 30 minutes.
Place on barbecue and grill ribs until heated through; approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side. Brush with sauce. Grill until sauce becomes sticky. Cut racks between bones into individual servings. Serve with remaining sauce.
I looked at this one and I worried.
Foods with vinegar in them are hard. They generally require an acidic wine in a match, often a white, and I really could not see a white wine with these ribs. I kept looking at that apple cider vinegar in the sauce until I could see little else.
I think that telescopic vision was wrong. After I took a step back from my thoughts, I became more aware of all the other ingredients found here. A wine with this meal has to find a place to fit in. As a result, we can ignore the big, bold reds and the buttery, toasted-oak Chardonnays.
At the same time, you need a wine that will not disappear in the face of that bourbon sauce and rubbing. You won't be able to make it stand out above those flavors, so you want to have it slide in and around the tastes, to ease the tongue and insinuate itself into the feast. Your ideal is not to make the guests stop and say "Wow, what a great wine!" You want to have them look back fondly and say "That wine was just right!"
Fanciful thoughts like that led me to Pinot Noir. We had watched the Sideways movie just a few days before I sat down to write this article, so I might have had Pinot Noir on the brain. I was very tempted to find a bottle from one of the wineries featured in the movie: Foxen Vineyard, Firestone Vineyard, Sanford Winery, or Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard (the setting for the "Frass Canyon" winery late in the film). All have some very nice selections.
I decided not to do that. Down under the stairs I have a bottle of "Old Mill Red" from Alba Vineyard in Milford, NJ, out by the Delaware River. They bill that as "a good, solid everyday red"; that's also how I remembered the taste, although a year or two had passed since we were there. "Old Mill Red" is primarily made from Marechal Foch and Chambourcin grapes, with a little Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc blended in. If my memory is accurate, it will go fine with this meal.
Last modified: March 10, 2007