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Hickory-Smoked Ribs with Georgia Mop Sauce

Hickory-Smoked Ribs with Georgia Mop Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 handfuls hickory chips
  • 4 slabs baby back ribs, 4 to 5 lb. total
  • 1 1/2 cups beer or water

For the Georgia mop sauce:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Prepare a medium-hot fire for indirect-heat cooking in a covered grill. Position the rack 4 to 6 inches from the fire. Soak the hickory chips in water to cover for at least 20 minutes.

Place each rib rack on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle with 3 to 4 Tbs. of the beer. Wrap tightly and place on the grill rack. Cover the grill, open the vents and cook for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup, vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook until thick, about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle the hickory chips over the hot coals. Unwrap the ribs and place on the grill rack. Cover the grill, partially close the vents and grill until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of grilling, brush the ribs with the sauce.

Transfer the ribs to a carving board, cut the racks in half and mop with more sauce. Pass the remaining sauce at the table. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cookware Series, Grill Cookbook, by Barbara Grunes (Time-Life Books, 1999).