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Giada's Baby Back Ribs with Spicy Plum Barbecue Sauce
Giada's Baby Back Ribs, Slow-Cooker Cioppino, Walnut Football Cookies
Zach Pagano / TODAY
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(50 rated)
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These ribs are sweet, spicy and little smoky and the perfect finger food for game day. It's also a great way to use up stone fruit at the end of the season.

Technique tip: Wrapping the ribs in foil to gently roast/steam guarantees a tender juicy rib.

Swap option: You can use peaches or any other stone fruit.


  • Ribs

    • 2 racks pork baby back ribs, membrane removed, about 5 pounds
    • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Barbecue sauce

    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 4 plums, about 1 pound, pitted and chopped
    • One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 habanero chili pepper, halved


For the ribs:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

2. Place the spare ribs on two sheets of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around them and seal. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, paprika and salt. Rub the ribs evenly on all sides with the mixture. Bring the foil up and around the rubbed ribs and crimp closed. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 3 hours or until tender but not falling apart. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly, about 30minutes.

For the sauce:

1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the onions are soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes.

2. Add the plums and allspice and stir to coat with the flavors. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt and habanero and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the plums are very soft. Remove the habanero.

3. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until it is as smooth or as chunky as you like.

To assemble:

1. Preheat a gill to medium heat. Brush the ribs all over with the sauce.

2. Oil the grill and place the ribs meat side down until lightly charred. Flip the ribs and continue on the other side. Brush both sides with more sauce and continue to cook until the sauce is thick and sticky and golden brown (alternatively, you can brown the ribs under the broiler on high, brushing the ribs every 4 minutes until the sauce is thick and sticky).

3. Serve with more sauce on the side if desired.

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