Chef's Corner - Ribs & Vanilla Cream Ale

When sampling the love2brew Vanilla Cream Ale [Editor’s Note:  This kit will be available for sale Monday 10/31] it was a unique experience.  Its medium body and amber color led to a sweet malt taste with a wonderful Vanilla aftertaste.  This beer reminded me of Summer and although another Summer has come and gone (and with that the loss of grilling outside for many of us) it does not mean we cannot eat tender, fall off -the-bone ribs for the next 8 months.  Here is a recipe for some ribs you can make all year round:


Braised and Roasted Ribs with Cream Ale Barbecue Sauce

In this recipe the ribs are braised in a flavorful liquid made from beer, aromatic vegetables and herbs.  Once the ribs are tender, they are removed, and the liquid is strained and reduced to a thick sauce consistency with additional flavorings and sugar.


The Vanilla Cream Ale has a thickness and enough sugar that makes it a great addition to a homemade barbecue sauce. We are going to make this BBQ sauce Carolina style, which is to say, vinegar based and not ketchup based. 


For the Ribs


1 rack Baby Back Ribs

2 pints Love2Brew Vanilla Cream Ale

1 Spanish onion, quartered

1 carrot, large dice

4 sprigs of thyme

2 cloves of garlic


For the Sauce


Strained cooking liquid from the ribs, skimmed of all fat

½ C apple cider vinegar

1 C sugar

Liquid smoke


Bring all of the ingredients except for the ribs to a boil in a saucepan.


In a deep-sided roasting pan, place the ribs in meat side down, and cover with the boiled marinade and enough water so that the liquid just covers the bones.


Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and pace in a 300 degree oven.  Braise for 1 ½ hours or until a knife inserted into the meat enters without resistance.


Remove from the oven, and allow ribs to cool in the liquid.


Remove the ribs, and strain the sauce into a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer on the stovetop and using a ladle, remove all oil and impurities that rise to the surface.  When is clean and looking nice and clear, add the sugar and vinegar and reduce to a syrupy consistency.


Place the ribs on a baking sheet, and brush with barbecue sauce.  Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes, basting with sauce every 10 minutes until a caramelized crust of sauce forms (it should not be black and burned). 


Serve the ribs with a side of the barbecue sauce and your favorite sides.  Be sure to eat them with a Love2Brew Vanilla Cream Ale!