RIBS! – With a wonderful Gluten-Free sauce

In our family, ribs are a special occasion or weekends treat. That is until last night.

Last week I discovered that you can purchase the cut off portion of the ribs, called rib tips. I don’t know about you, but I was tickled pink at this idea! See, rib tips are exactly that; the portion of the rib removed to make the ribs look “pretty”. They are just as delicious and 3 1/2 lbs was more than enough for my family of five.

The best part of rib tips is that they cook up in 25 minutes, including marinade time, and are just as delicious. I am excited to say our family now has a new tradition, rib tips on work days!

Here it is; my notes are in italics:

BBQ Rib Tips

3 – 3 1/2 lbs pork rib tips – you can ask your butcher, or look through the meat at your local grocery store
1/2 tsp black pepper*
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c cider vinegar
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp BBQ rub – such as McCormick’s Sweet and Smoky Rub or you can use your own (see bottom)
1 Tbsp Tabasco sauce*
2 c Ketchup
2 Tbsp molasses – you can substitute 3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar heated to dissolve in 1/4 cup of liquid or 1 cup honey
2 tsp liquid smoke 

*The black pepper and Tabasco sauce seems to spice up the recipe as it simmers. To eliminate the “heat”, reduce the ground pepper to a small pinch (less than an 1/8tsp) and omit the Tabasco sauce.

In a medium to large sauce pan, mix all the ingredients together. Bring to a simmer boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so the sauce doesn’t burn.  Once the sauce is finished, remove from heat and let cool. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in jar(s).

While the sauce is simmering, warm up the grill. When the grill is ready, place the ribs on the grill to get their initial sear. After 2 minutes, flip them. In 3 more minutes, 5 minutes have passed; apply your first coating of sauce. Let the sauce cook in for 10 minutes, flip the ribs and reapply the sauce. For a richer taste, marinade the ribs in the rub overnight. 

Once the ribs are cooked through, approx. 20 minutes, remove and serve. Save the extra sauce for serving or for later to try on chicken. 

Serves 4-5 people

Store the remaining sauce in an air tight container in the fridge. This sauce gets better with age!


BBQ Rib Rub
How To Grill by Steven Raichlen
Makes approx. 1 cup

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c sweet paprika
3 Tbsp black pepper
3 Tbsp coarse salt – we use kosher
1 Tbsp hickory-smoked salt or more coarse salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix together and use.

Store in an air tight container. This rub lasts forever!


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