I’ve been making ribs the exact same way for many years, but when I read this recipe, I predicted they would be spectacular.  Indeed, my expectations were spot on.  If you are also very partial to a particular tried-and-true recipe for barbecued ribs, please try this version:  they are sticky, sweet, spicy, juicy, tender, you and your guests will leave only a pile of very clean rib bones on the plate!

(adapted from The Parsley Thief, original recipe from Gourmet, 2009)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup  dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons + 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar  
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt + 1/2 Tablespoon salt (divided)
4 racks baby back pork ribs 
1 + 1/2 cups water (divided)
1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

 Mix the rosemary, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar plus the cayenne pepper in a small bowl.  Mince the garlic, add 1 teaspoon of salt to it and mash with the side of a large knife to form a paste.  Add it to the marinade with  1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt and  1/2 teaspoon pepper & mix all the ingredients together.  Rub evenly over the ribs and place in a baking dish. Marinate, chilled, for 8-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Arrange the ribs in a large roasting pan and pour 1/2 cup water inside, under the ribs.  Cover tightly with foil, and  bake the ribs until the meat is very tender, about 2 and a half hours.  Remove from the oven and transfer the ribs to a platter.

Add 1 cup of water to the pan, and using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the browned bits.  Strain the liquid into a measuring cup, or gravy separator to remove the excess fat.   Transfer to a skillet and add  1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and  1/4 cup brown sugar.  Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer gently until reduced to about 1 cup, 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat the grill.  Brush some glaze over both sides of the ribs and grill, turning occasionally, until the ribs are hot and with nice grill marks all over, 6 to 8 minutes.   Brush the ribs with some more glaze and serve.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  This is a perfect recipe for the heat wave we’re going through (111 F last week in Manhattan, 106 F this week in Norman), because the initial baking happens at a reasonably low temperature. Plus, you can do that step very early in the morning, even a couple of days ahead of your party.  Remove the ribs from the fridge an hour or so before  dinner, turn the grill on, and assemble a few side dishes. In less than 10 minutes you will be ready to enjoy THE most amazing ribs ever!   The balsamic glaze is a nice change from the usual barbecue sauce. I can see it complementing a thick piece of grilled salmon quite well.

Need the perfect dessert for the 4th?  Try my beloved’s husband patriotic pie!

ONE YEAR AGO: Baby Back Ribs on the 4th of July

TWO YEARS AGO: Blueberry Muffins

THREE YEARS AGO: A Pie for your 4th of July


  1. Too funny.. guess what I had tonight? Yup.. ribs! My recipe is similar, but the sauce is not.. so I would love to try yours. I’ve made mine enough that I’m in for a great change and the ingredients are those I’d have on hand. Happy 4th of July!! Today is our Canada Day:D


    • Happy Canada Day! I went to Canada only once, many years ago, and loved everything so much, every single Canadian I met was incredibly nice and “warm” – I remember thinking that if the US would refuse my naturalization for some reason, I could be happy living in your country (well, I would probably not survive my first winter, but that’s another story! 😉


  2. Sounds like a great recipe. I had a turkey drumstick for supper … with spicy bbq sauce. Not quite as special as your ribs but still, tasty enough.🙂 As a fellow Canadian, happy belated Canada Day.


    • Now THAT’s something that intimidates me: turkey drumstick – I’ve seen it for sale in grocery stores, never had the courage to bring a couple home to cook. Sounds tasty, though….


  3. My Google Alert is set for Amazing Ribs since I run the most popular BBQ site in the world, If you Google ribs, it should be the first site listed. In your photo, you will notice that the meat has shrunk back from the bones quite a bit. The best mosited ribs rarely have more than 1/4″ of bone visible. Almost all championship BBQ cooks cook in the 225 to 250 range. Try it, you’ll have a lot less shrinkage and more moisture. Here’s how I do it:


    • Loved the “porknography” 😉

      Great article, thanks for posting your link, I am hoping one of my readers in particular will jump there, he and his wife are great with all things related to grilling… (Greg, are you there? 😉

      I will definitely try your method next time, although I cannot promise to drink the 6-pack of beer, I will follow the book and the tunes advice, though

      thanks for stopping by!


  4. These not only sounds delicious, they look gorgeous! (a sticky, yummy mess – just the way ribs ought to be! :)). I especially like the rosemary in this recipe… does it come through with the other flavourings? Happy Holidays Sally! I hope all is going smoothly with your move.


    • The rosemary does come through, but not too strongly – I guess you could add a little more without problems….

      the move is an ongoing back and forth, one week here, one week there, but at least 95% of our stuff is in Manhattan already


  5. You know our love affair with balsamic! This sounds fabulous. We’re smoking ribs this weekend. I think I’ll share this marinade recipe with Mike. It just sounds delicious. And we’re having salmon tomorrow…oh the possibilities!


    • If our grill was not in Manhattan we would be making a nice grilled salmon tonight. Instead, we might have to go out for dinner, as it’s soooo hot to cook inside an empty home!


  6. Pingback: FINGER LICKING GOOD…4TH OF JULY « celiabediliadesigns

  7. What do you do if you aren’t somewhere where you have a grill to finish the ribs. Is there an alternative to finishing them in the oven or is the taste just not the same??


    • Leoni, you can definitely finish them in a hot oven – in fact, in the original link where I got the recipe from, she says you can use a broiler. The thing is that right now with the heat we’re having I cannot conceive the idea of turning the oven at more than 350F 😉

      but you can roast them at 450F until they are hot and dark brown, or broil them


  8. These do look delicious! I usually do my “tried and true” recipe as well, but I would be totally willing to try these!🙂 Hope the unpacking is going well and you guys are getting all settled in!


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