Pork Ribs with Chipotle and Honey

I love ribs. I love the caramelized outside and the small chunks of tender meat on each rib. I am truly a carnivore, no doubt about it. Every recipe has a story to tell and this particular recipe has been in the making for a little over a year. When we first moved here to Germany our wonderful friend Matt took us over to the commissary and pointed out the frozen pork rib slabs. I was intrigued by them, but I couldn’t bring myself to buying frozen ribs, or so I thought.

The thought of these ribs stayed with me and every time I went to the commissary to go grocery shopping I’d stop and stare at the ribs. I’d contemplate the idea of buying some, but chose to walk away instead. I just couldn’t bring myself to buying frozen ribs. Then one day I thought, oh what the heck, why not. As soon as I got home I googled some recipes for preparing pork short ribs in the oven and found probably the simplest recipe I have ever found online. All I needed to do was line a deep pan with foil, salt and pepper the slabs of ribs, add a bottle of beer, and bake them in the oven for several hours.

I loved the simplicity of this recipe but they were missing that caramelized finish. So after baking them for several hours I brushed the ribs with honey, set them on the grill for a couple of minutes and voila…tasty, crunchy, moist ribs. Over the last year I have made this recipe several times, modifying it each time. However, this time I decided to give them a chipotle and chile pepper rub and OMG, they were melt in your mouth delicious and frickin’ hot ‘n spicy.

If you love spicy, beer flavored pork ribs, with a subtle hint of honey then I dare you to try these. First comes the sweet taste of the caramelized honey, then the underlying tones of barley from the beer, and finally, the fiery hot spice from the chipotle and chile powder. And yes, this is the taste, which lingers the longest, but its sweet music to the ears of those who love spice. For those of you still working your way to the frickin’ hot level, eliminate the chipotle and just try the chile powder, or eliminate the chile powder completely. Either way these ribs are now part of my once-a-month go to meal.

Pork Ribs with Chipotle and Honey

Ingredients:

1 rack pork loin back ribs (about 4 pounds)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, blended to make a paste
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 limes, juiced
1 (12-ounce) beer
1 cup honey

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a deep pan with foil and set aside.

In a bowl combine the salt, pepper, and chile powder. Add the chipotle pepper paste, soy sauce, and lime juice. Combine well to make a paste.

Coat ribs with the paste. If your hands are overly sensitive to spicy food, you may want to put a small plastic baggie over your hand or spread the paste over the ribs with a food brush.

Place the ribs into the prepared pan; add the beer to the pan. Cover with foil and place on the bottom rack of your oven.

Cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours remove the foil, lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and cook, uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the pan and brush all sides of the ribs with honey. Place on a hot grill for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Transfer ribs to a serving platter; cut into single-rib portions, and serve.

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Written by Veronica / Photos by Veronica