Coca-Cola Barbecue Ribs – Memorial Day Rib Fest

Just a two more weeks until the unofficial beginning of summer, and high time for barbecue enthusiasts everywhere. Memorial Day is a time to remember all those that have given their lives securing our freedom, and it also kicks off the prime season of grilling. To get you ready for this favorite day of carnivores, we bring you the Memorial Day Rib Fest – a series of epic BBQ rib recipes to enjoy. We begin with Coca-Cola Barbecue Ribs, fall-off-the-bone goodness without the long hours of cooking. The sugars and spices in Coca-Cola make a terrific marinade, and this shorter preparation will give you plenty of time to relax in the shade.

It always starts with the meat, so get two racks of quality baby back ribs. The cooking gets a jump-start by boiling the ribs in a pot of Coca-Cola, onion, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns for about an hour until the meat begins to tear away from the bones. The sauce is a sweet and tangy combination of butter, onion, garlic, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and Coca-Cola. Once tender, the ribs are slathered with sauce and grilled over high heat to get a beautiful char and color. Now, the BBQ purists will surely cringe at the mention of boiling, but the proof is in the finger-licking and tongue-smacking of satisfied consumers. For those of you that desire the “slow and low” preparation, toss on the smoker at 225 degrees and you won’t be disappointed. So get ready to strut, invite your friends and family, and celebrate this Memorial Day by joining our Memorial Day Rib Fest!

Serves 6

Coca-Cola Barbecue Ribs Ingredients

For the ribs

  • 1 (1.5 liter) bottle of Coca-Cola (not diet!)
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 racks baby back ribs (about 4 pounds)

For the sauce

  • 2/3 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1½ tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (12 ounce) can Coca-Cola (not diet!)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Coca-Cola Barbecue Ribs Directions

  1. In a large pot, add the (1.5 liter) bottle of Coca-Cola, onion, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Add the ribs and, if necessary a bit of water just to ensure the ribs are submerged completely. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer, turning the ribs occasionally, until the meat pulls away from the bone, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the sauce combine the butter, onion, garlic, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and (12 ounces) Coca-Cola in large heavy sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 25 minutes stirring often until sauce is thickened and reduced. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool slightly. Using a blender, puree the sauce. (Note: Sauce can be made up to 5 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.)
  3. Preheat the grill to high.
  4. Remove the ribs from the pot, pat dry, season with salt and pepper and brush liberally with the sauce. Grill, turning often, until charred on the outside, about 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from grill. Loosely tent the ribs with foil to let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into individual ribs. Serve extra sauce on the side for dipping.

Taken from

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