Tamarind-Guava Baby Back Ribs Recipe

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Chef Mick Carroll of Radius says his ribs are perfect for small dinner party or a large group

Tamarind-Guava Baby Back Ribs
Photo by James Stefiuk

Tamarind-Guava Baby Back Ribs 

By Mick Carroll of Radius

“These ribs never disappoint, and people always love them. They’re juicy and flavorful – it’s easy to increase or decrease the recipe to make it for a small dinner party or a large group. The way the tamarind and guava work with the pork is outstanding. These ribs also let you enjoy your event because most of the work can all be done a day or two ahead of time.”


6 lbs. baby back ribs, cut into 8 equal portions
2 pints of Guinness or your favorite stout or brown ale
Salt and pepper
4 tsp. olive oil
4 shallots, sliced
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups guava jelly
4 cups beef or chicken stock
10 large chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
12 fresh tamarind pods or 8 oz. tamarind pulp
2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
2 dried or canned chipotle chiles
2 cinnamon sticks
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Put the ribs and the beer into a clean kitchen garbage bag, squeeze out as much excess air as possible, twist and knot the bag so no air gets in or beer gets out, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight, up to 24 hours. This can be done 2 days before you plan to serve them. 

Preheat the oven to 250 F. Put the ribs and beer in a large, shallow baking pan that will hold the ribs in a single layer; you may need to use 2 pans. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until the meat is almost falling from the bone, about 2 hours, turning the ribs once. Remove the ribs from the pan, discard the beer, and let the ribs cool. Once cooled, the ribs can be stored in freezer Ziploc bags in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

While the ribs are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add the shallots and saute until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce until about 2 tablespoons of liquid is left, about 5 minutes. Stir in the guava jelly, stock, tomatoes, tamarind, chipotle, ginger and cinnamon sticks. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the jelly melts. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour to blend flavors and thicken. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. Stir in the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The barbecue sauce can be made 1 to 2 days ahead of serving. 

To serve, prepare the grill to medium-high. Brush the ribs liberally with the barbecue sauce. Grill until warm, turning frequently and basting occasionally with the sauce, about 6 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a platter and serve. If you don’t have a grill, you can cook the ribs with the sauce in a saute pan until warm, following the same instructions as you would for the grill. The tamarind pods or pulp, chipotle chiles and guava jelly can be found in most Latin or specialty food markets.

Radius Made-from-scratch wood-fired pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, salads and desserts. Full bar and family-friendly with outdoor dining. 112 N. Churton St., Hillsborough; 919-245-0601; radiuspizzeria.net

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Hannah Lee

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