Nobody can say that I rush into things. For the most part. I seem to take my darn time to do anything that I’m not contractually obligated to do. I’m a bit of a
procrastinator perfectionist that way. It’s the only way to explain why I’m posting a recipe now that I started testing two years ago, photographed over a month ago, and writing now about a trip that I returned from weeks ago. Let’s hear it for procrastination… tomorrow, maybe.
The good thing is that you can be confident that this Tender Smoky Ribs with Spicy Rum BBQ Sauce recipe has been very extensively tested and much enjoyed in this home. It’s one of the meat recipes that I am proudest of. You’ll see why.
The reason for my trip to LA was the We All Grow Summit blogger conference where I was teaching a food photography session along with fellow food bloggers Ericka and Meseidy. The awesomest part was traveling with Sagrario, my dear friend from Vainilla y Azafrán; I couldn’t have asked for a better travel companion.
The conference was a rousing success, incredibly well-organized, very educational and I met a ton of food blogger friends, like the sweet Bren, one of my travel companions during my recent culinary tour of Israel, and some who I hadn’t met personally before but with whom I have been in contact for a long time, like Vianessa, Pilar, Yvette, Melissa and Maura.
I wish I could tell you much more about Los Angeles as a city, but unfortunately the time for exploring was limited during those four days. One thing I can say confidently: You’ll need a lot more time to enjoy Los Angeles.
As always, I pay as much attention to the food as I do to the people and the sights. And the food did not disappoint. The highlight was definitely the visit to award-winning La Guelaguetza, a restaurant specializing in Oaxacan cuisine, and famous for its moles. An absolute must-visit when in LA. We made time to visit markets. The Grand Central market was a thing to behold, as was the farmers’ market with its many food stands, including the Cajun food stand where my taste for spicy food was put to the test.
Our visit was grueling as we wanted to squeeze every minute out of a short visit to a faraway place. Exhausted as we were, we visited several markets, made a stop at the beach, did some shopping, and even some exploring on food in Korea Town, where we were staying.
Los Angeles is such a big, crazy (in a good way) city, so rich, so incredibly diverse, there will most definitely be a next time.
And in a jump to a totally unrelated topic: The idea for this Smoky Ribs with Spicy Rum BBQ Sauce first came to me when I attended a cooking demo by the PuntaCana Golf and Club executive chef. He taught us a few tricks to make fall-off-the-bone ribs. I made a mental note and tried to replicate it at home.
The sauce was my own idea: It’s rich, deep, and the subtle taste of local rum finishes it beautifully.
It took me two years to finally polish the recipe and take pictures, but you’ll see it was worth it. The meat is impossibly tender, gently sweet, lovely smokey and with a kick of spiciness that makes it unforgettable.
And my family enthusiastically approves.
- 4 lb [1.81 kg] pork ribs
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 6 cups of water
- 2 tablespoon of smoke liquid (Affiliate Link)
- 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of rum (see notes)
- 1/2 tablespoon of garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (corn, soy or canola)
Heat oven to 200 ºF [95 ºC].
Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray with wire rack. Pour water in the tray but stop before it reaches the ribs. Pour the liquid smoke into the water. Cover the tray with aluminum foil as tightly as possible, and roast covered for 4 hours.
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade.
Remove the ribs from the oven and uncover. Discard any water left. Paint the ribs on both sides with the sauce.
Increase heat to 400 ºF [200 ºC]. Return the ribs to the oven (uncovered), and cook for another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve with oven-fried potatoes.
I normally use dark rum for the sauce, but have also used white in a pinch and I liked both. Use the rum you have at hand.