Sweet Chili and Root Beer Baby Back Ribs with Coleslaw and Cherry Margaritas

This was our Memorial Day feast and it was wonderful! Matt really loves to grill, so we decided to do ribs since we were both off work on Monday. The ribs come from the June/July 2010 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. They were very easy to do! We have a small charcoal grill (Matt will only use a charcoal!!), and they worked perfectly. I couldn’t find kecap manis at my grocery store and didn’t feel like going on a wild goose chase to find it, so I used the same amount of soy sauce with a tsp of granulated sugar. Enjoy!

2 racks baby back ribs, silverskin removed
Kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs kecap manis (sweetened soy sauce)
1/4 cup root beer
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (I used Heinz)
2 tbs hot chili sauce (I used Sriracha)
Let the ribs sit at room temperature for one hour before grilling.
Prepare your grill for indirect cooking over low heat (about 300 F). Lightly oil the grill grates.
Sprinkle the meat side of the ribs with 2 tsp Kosher salt. Arrange ribs bone side down in a single layer over the cool zone of the grill. Close the lid and cook the ribs for about 2 hours. The meat will be tender but not falling off the bone. Remove the ribs and tent with foil.
Increase the temperature of the indirect grill fire to 350 F. In a medium bowl, mix the kecap manis, root beer, and both chili sauces. Set aside about 1/2 cup for drizzling/serving. Brush the ribs on all sides with the remaining sauce. Return the ribs to the cool zone of the grill and cook, turning once, until nicely laquered, about 15 minutes. Remove ribs, let rest, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes. Then cut into individual rib portions and serve with reserved sauce. Enjoy!

Note: I halved the recipe since it was only for two and it turned out great. Cooking the ribs this way will result in a more “toothsome” texture, as opposed to falling off the bone. I actually think ribs are better this way. Sometimes when the meat gets too tender, it becomes mushy. These tasted moist and tender with some good meaty texture left in them. That’s the way we always cook ribs ever since tasting them that way for the first time.


The coleslaw itself is just half of a napa cabbage, shredded. What makes it so delicious is the dressing. It’s a homemade Ranch dressing, and it’s amazing! Taste it once and you’ll never go back to the bottled stuff again. It comes from the “Dinosaur BBQ” cookbook, which is a book of the recipes that are or have been on the menu of the restuarant of the same name in NY. We’ve eaten there, including recently, so expect a restaurant review soon! The book is greatness, I love recreating their dishes. This Ranch dressing was originally made for their fried green tomatoes, but I make some every couple months and keep it in the fridge for coleslaw and salad dressings, as well as french fry, onion ring, and potato chip dip.

1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup finely minced or snipped chives
1 tbs lemon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp Creole seasoning

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

This drink recipe comes from the same issue of Fine Cooking Magazine as the ribs. It was quite good, and tastes exactly like the name. This will serve one drink. Enjoy!

12 fresh or frozen pitted sweet cherries
1 1/4 oz. tequila
1 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. agave nectar
1/2 oz. cherry liqueur, sometimes called marachino liqueur
1 cherry for garnish

Put the cherries in a cocktail shaker and mash them with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon. Add tequila, lime juice, nectar and liqueur, along with some ice. Shake, then strain into a glass with ice.

About jwall915

I love to cook and I love to travel! This blog explores my love of both. I share recipes and restaurant reviews, and I blog the trips I take.
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