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Spicy Cherry-Glazed Baby Back Ribs Recipe


Spicy Cherry-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

If we were in Mexico, these tender Yucatán-style baby back ribs might well be wrapped in leaves and cooked in a deep pit. Barring a hole in your backyard, the ribs are encased in traditional banana leaves, covered with spices and orange juice, and slowly baked with a zesty cherry glaze. Spareribs are a great icebreaker and add a fiesta-like atmosphere to any dining event.

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For the spicy cherry glaze

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups frozen sour cherries, thawed
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons reposado tequila
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the ribs

  • Banana leaves
  • 1 bunch thyme, stemmed and chopped finely
  • 1 bunch oregano, stemmed and chopped finely
  • 1/2 bunch rosemary, stemmed and chopped finely
  • 2 cups shallots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup garlic, sliced
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 6 racks baby back ribs, rinsed in cold water and patted dry
  • 5 lemons, sliced
  • 5 limes, sliced
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


For the spicy cherry glaze

In a medium-sized skillet, combine the oil, cherries, onion, ginger, and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions are lightly browned. Stir in the soy sauce, hot sauce, tequila, vinegar, and sesame oil and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the ribs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange the banana leaves in the bottom of a deep 21-by-13-inch pan (or other pan large enough so the ribs will be completely covered). In a bowl, combine the thyme, oregano, rosemary, shallots, garlic, bay leaves, allspice, cumin, coriander, and achiote paste. Lay the ribs in the pan and distribute the seasoning mixture evenly over them. Add the lemons and limes, pour the orange juice over the meat, cover the pan with foil, seal tightly, and transfer to the oven. Bake until tender, about 1 ½ hours.

Remove from the oven, leave the pan covered, and let the ribs cool to room temperature. Generously coat the ribs with the glaze. Preheat the broiler and position the rack about 5 inches from the heat. Broil for 10 minutes to crisp the glaze; sprinkle on the sesame seeds and serve immediately.