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Fennel-Spiced Ribs with Tangy Apple-Mustard Barbecue Sauce

Fennel-Spiced Ribs with Tangy Apple-Mustard Barbecue Sauce

All those spices and sauces add up to some truly complex flavors. (This recipe was developed with IBM's Chef Watson.)



  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 racks baby back pork ribs (about 6 lb.)

Sauce and Assembly

  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot Chinese mustard

Recipe Preparation


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Toast coriander and fennel seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool, then finely chop with a knife or coarsely grind in a spice mill. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in salt, oregano, rosemary, sugar, chili powder, and paprika.

  • Place each rack of ribs on double-layered sheets of foil; sprinkle spice mixture all over ribs. Wrap and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake ribs until very tender but meat is not falling from the bone, about 2 hours.

  • Carefully unwrap ribs (there will be a lot of steam) and transfer to a platter; let cool. Pour any cooking juices from foil into a heatproof measuring cup; set aside.

  • DO AHEAD: Ribs can be baked 3 days ahead (the flavor will intensify and the cold ribs will hold together better when reheated). Cover and chill juices. Cover ribs and chill.

Sauce and Assembly

  • Prepare grill for high heat. Whisk apple juice, vinegar, oyster sauce, bourbon, brown sugar, oil, Dijon mustard, and Chinese mustard into reserved rib juices.

  • Grill ribs, turning and basting with sauce often, until heated through, glazed, and charred in spots, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut racks between bones into individual ribs. Transfer to a platter and serve with remaining sauce alongside.

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Watch the video: How to Make Barbecue Sauce