BBQ Chocolate Ribs

Chocolate Ribs BBQ Chocolate Ribs

Chocolate Rubbed Ribs

The past days have been gorgeous – Chicago is showing us her grandest moments… blue skies, warm sunlight, colorful gardens, a rustling breeze and the smell of fresh cut grass. As I drive home in the evening with the window down, I often catch a sniff of smokin’, hot wood grills. Chicagoans make the most of summer even if we don’t have a backyard, we have small grills perched on decks, on the sidewalk, at the park or atop a rooftop illegally.

This coming weekend, I’m thinking about making my BBQ Chocolate Ribs. For years, we have had a grumpy UPS driver named Harold who comes, begrudgingly to take away all of our chocolate parcels at Vosges Haut-Chocolat and start them on their journeys to new homes. Every now and again on a lighter day his levity comes out in a jestful joke, “Hey, you need to sell some chocolate ribs. How about making chocolate ribs?” He chuckled as if it was a joke. Little did he know, chocolate invades ALL food groups in my kitchen!

The dark chocolate rub soon emerged and found a wonderful compliment to the pork ribs – think umami bath. It is important to cook them long and slow at the beginning for the best flavor. Then, top the ribs with Harold-Inspired Vosges Haut-Chocolat BBQ Sauce.

BBQ Chocolate Ribs

Serves 4 people

3 racks Baby back ribs

Dry rub:
¼ cup Balinese peppercorn or telicherry
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chipotle
1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 300F
Mix dry rub ingredients together.
Coat your baby back ribs on both sides with dry rub. Place ribs in a baking sheet, they can overlap. Fill with water half way up the pan and seal tightly with aluminum foil. Cook for 2 hours. This can be done in advance, just keep the ribs wrapped in aluminum foil as they cool.

Turn on the grill or light up the hard wood charcoal.
Place ribs over medium heat (careful it’s not too hot or it will burn), bone-side down. Cook for 5 minutes flip the ribs and with a brush, baste them with chocolate barbecue sauce. Continue to shellac them a few more times until they are well sauced and crispy. Remove from heat, place on a platter, brush again with BBQ sauce and cover with aluminum foil until ready.

Place the ribs on a cutting board and cut the ribs into individual pieces and serve with extra sauce.

The ribs may be grilled up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, in which case do not brush extra sauce at the end. Wait until you heat through the next day and finish with a hefty brushing of chocolate BBQ sauce.

Accompany with coleslaw, cocoa Habana corn on the cob and extra Harold-Inspired BBQ Sauce

Harold-Inspired Vosges Haut-Chocolat BBQ Sauce

1 medium onion minced
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 dried ancho chili
1 1/2 smoked salt
1 1/2 crushed telicherry peppercorns, coarse ground
1 cup apple cider vinegar, organic
28 oz. Canned whole tomatoes, organic
8 oz. Tomato sauce, organic
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup dark molasses brown sugar
1 tbsp exquisite grade sweet Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoon cumin powder
2 oz Red Fire Bar {4 squares}
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup cilantro leaves

Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions and ancho chili pepper in hot oil stirring often until golden brown, about 10 minutes. De-glaze pan with apple cider vinegar cook on high heat for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to extra low and simmer, uncovered until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cook time roughly 2.5 hours.

Puree sauce with a immersion hand blender, transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate overnight, {I love using old jars I save from Martinelli’s mini apple juice bottles, they are the perfect gift size too} this will really let the flavors set in. The sauce can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

When ready for use, add cilantro. Brush chicken, ribs or vegetables with sauce 2 minutes before they are finished cooking and brush again after removed from the grill.

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5 Responses to “BBQ Chocolate Ribs”

  1. Joann says:

    Interesting idea. My sister and I cooked with Dr. Pepper which turned out great. I wouldn’t have though about adding sweet with meat before that. I have to send her this recipe.

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  3. Gufyy says:

    charcoal rules / Her ya go.Cut them into 3 bone pieces. Sprinkle with a litlte course ground black pepper. Put in the crock pot and cover with 1/2 can sauerkraut (big or small depending on how many ribs), and juice.May need 1/3 cup water if Kraut is too dry.Cook about 4-5 hours at medium until fork tender.Add the rest of the sauerkraut for the last 1 hour.Some potatoes go good tossed in until done, removed, and re added with final 1/2 can Kraut.Enjoy

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