This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #ServeWithACoke #BowlGames #CollectiveBias
Coca-Cola™ and football are a classic combination, so take your bowl game spread to the next level with spicy and sweet grilled baby back ribs with a Coca-Cola barbecue sauce.
It’s been tough to be a football fan in our house this season.
In October, my team’s quarterback went down with a broken collarbone. Our defense is terrible. The O line is hurt. I watched the last game with my dad, who spent the entire first half muttering how terrible we are under his breath. We turned it off at half time, and woke up to the news it was a shut out. We aren’t going to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
AJ’s team was able to kind of sort of keep their playoff hopes alive, they were “in the hunt” as the sportscasters like to say. Until they lost on Sunday, also dashing his playoff dreams.
At least we have these grilled baby back ribs with Coca-Cola barbecue sauce.
And we’ll be enjoying these grilled baby back ribs while we watch the big game in February.
Just because our teams won’t be in it, it doesn’t mean we aren’t excited for the big game. As football fans, we’ll still tune into the playoffs (and likely start backing our hometown team as they make their playoff run). And, just like last year, we’re still planning on hosting a party at our house for the big game (after all, my best friend is going to be in town that weekend and my birthday is the next day). That Sunday night in February is going to be full of food, friends and football.
Our big game party will be potluck style; make a few things ahead of time (last year it was barbecue) to feed a crowd and then each of our friends brings their favorite game day snack or appetizer. This year, we’re going to stick with the barbecue theme: barbecue is so easy to make ahead of time and great for a big group, leaving us time to socialize and watch them game, so grilled baby back ribs will be a part of our of our big game, Sunday night smorgasboard in all of their sticky, spicy and sweet glory.
Also starring in our smorgasboard will be some ice-cold Coca-Cola, a tailgating and game day spread staple. After all, aren’t Coca-Cola and football two American classics that go hand in hand? The Coca-Cola will be doing double duty this year because it’s caramely sweetness and refreshing fizz won’t just help us wash down our savory football snacks. Coca-Cola is also starring in the grilled baby back ribs barbecue sauce!
Adding Coca-Cola to the grilled baby back ribs barbecue sauce adds a different depth of flavor to the sauce than just regular old sugar or it’s molasses counterpart, brown sugar. Coca-Cola adds a sweetness that balances the flavors of the sauce without overpowering the vinegar, smoky and spicy notes. And of course, by adding Coca-Cola to the sauce, the grilled baby back ribs and an ice cold Coca-Cola are the perfect pair!
So let’s start with the sauce. Combine ketchup, honey, garlic, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, smoked paprika and Coca-Cola into a sauce pan. Whisk over medium heat until the sauce comes to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, allowing the flavors to develop and the sauce to thicken (also, if you’re prepping for a bowl game or big game party like we are, the sauce is something you can make ahead of time, it will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks).
Then, get your grilled baby back ribs ready. Rub them down with a spice mixture of chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and dried mustard. Then wrap them in foil and let them cook low and slow in the oven for about two and a half to three hours (yes, the cook time is long but your oven is doing all the work).I’m all about having recipes in my arsenal that are hands off and easy to cook before my guests arrive, so I can focus on friends and football (and eating the food!) during the big game.
Once the ribs are done in the oven, pour the juices from the foil into about a quarter cup of barbecue sauce to create a basting sauce for the grill. Grill the ribs for about 10 minutes while basting with the barbecue sauce, until the ribs are charred and slightly crisp. You can wrap the grilled baby back ribs back up in foil and keep them warm in the oven until kickoff.
When it’s time to dig in, serve the grilled baby back ribs with more Coca-Cola barbecue sauce, plenty of napkins, and ice cold Coca-Cola to wash all that spicy, sticky, sweetness down.
Are you making anything special for the big game? Click here to discover more recipes that are perfect for football bowl season and also perfectly pair with Coca-Cola.
- Two to three pounds baby back ribs
- For the sauce:
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ⅔ cup Coca-Cola
- ½ cup honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the rub:
- ½ tablespoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Make the barbecue sauce: combine the ketchup, honey, garlic, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, the onion powder, smoked paprika, black pepper and Coca-Cola in a saucepan.
- Whisk together until combined. Heat over medium heat, bringing the mixture to a boil then reducing to a simmer over low heat.
- Cook for until thickened, about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Store in a jar or sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- While the sauce is simmering, place each rack of ribs on a doubled sheet of aluminum
- foil. In a bowl, whisk together onion powder, smoked paprika, pepper, salt, ground mustard, garlic powder, and chipotle chili powder. Rub the mixture all over both sides of the ribs.
- Wrap the ribs in the aluminum foil. Place the racks on a baking sheet and put them on the center rack in the oven. Bake for 2½ to 3 hours.
- Grill the ribs: Heat the grill to the highest setting and remove the ribs from the foil. Gently pour the juice in the foil packets into a large bowl or measuring cup, and whisk in ¼ of sauce.
- Place the ribs on the grill and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are charred and slightly crisp on the outsides, basting with the sauce on top.