Short Ribs by Adam Perry Lang

From Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue
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Two 3-bone plates of short ribs

Mustard Moisturizer
¼ cup prepared yellow mustard
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Seasoning Blend
¼ cup garlic salt
3 tablespoons coarsely ground fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup to ½ cup canola or vegetable oil

Wrapping Mixture
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons beef base in paste form, such as Better Than Bouillon
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter or margarine, melted

Finishing Dressing
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Fleur de sel
Finely ground fresh black pepper


1. Preheat an indirect barbecue with a drip pan and hardwood (preferably hickory, oak, or pecan), a ceramic cooker with deflector plate and hardwood (preferably hickory, oak, or pecan), or a charcoal or gas grill with a box or packet of hardwood (preferably hickory, oak, or pecan) to 250°F.

2. Combine all of the ingredients for the mustard moisturizer and moisten all sides of the roasts. Combine all of the seasoning blend ingredients.  Sprinkle the roasts with about half of the seasoning blend, covering all sides evenly.  Using your hands or a brush, evenly, but lightly, coast the roasts with canola oil.

3. Place the roasts in the cooker, bone side down, and cook for 5 hours.

4. Meanwhile, combine all of the wrapping mixture ingredients.

5. Remove the racks from the cooker.  Lay two sets of double sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to wrap the roasts on the work surface, and pour half of the wrapping mixture on each.  Top one set of foil with a rack, meat side down, close, and crimp to seal.  Wrap with a second sheet of foil.  Repeat with the remaining rack and foil.  Place the racks back in the cooker, and increase the temperature to 275°F.  Let the racks rest in the foil for 45 minutes.

6. Remove the racks from the foil over a baking dish or disposable aluminum pan, reserving the cooking liquid.  Lightly dust all sides of the racks with the remaining seasoning blend and place, meat side up, in the cooker for 45 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, strain all of the juices and solids from the pan through a fine-mesh strainer set over a measuring cup.  Discard the solids.  Allow the fat to come to the top in the measuring cup, pour off, and discard.  Pour the remaining liquid back in the pan to keep warm.

8. Remove the roasts from the cooker, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.

9. Drizzle the olive oil on the board, add about 2 tablespoons of the defatted liquid, along with the parsley, fleur de sel, and pepper.  Unwrap the roast, place on top of the mixture, and slice perpendicular to the bone about ¼ inch slices.  Dredge the slices in the mixture and sprinkle with additional fleur de sel and pepper. 

APL BBQ SAUCE – Makes about 7 cups

½ cup canola or vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium sweet white onion, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional as needed
¼ cup bourbon (such as George Dickel Tennessee Whisky 12 Year)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground allspice, plus additional for seasoning
¼ teaspoon ground cloves, plus additional for seasoning
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups water
2 cups ketchup
½ cup unsulfured blackstrap molasses
½ cup prepared yellow mustard
½ cup apple cider vinegar, plus additional as needed
2 teaspoons hot sauce
½ cup apricot preserves
1 jalapeño chile, grated on a Microplane grater, stopping before the seeds
½ Granny Smith apple, grated on a Microplane grater


1. Pour the oil in a large saucepan and place over medium heat until it starts to shimmer.  Stir in the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.

2. Pour in the bourbon and cook until the alcohol has cooked off, about 5 minutes.  There will no longer be the strong smell of alcohol.

3. Combine the chili powder, black pepper, allspice and cloves and add to the pan.  Cook, stirring continuously, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

4. Stir in the brown sugar, water, ketchup, molasses, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce, and preserves.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to be sure nothing sticks to the bottom and burns.  Reduce to a simmer.  Continue to simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 45 minutes.

5. Add the jalapeño and apple.  At this point the sauce can be left chunky or blended in a blender (blend in small batches since it will be hot), or in a bowl using an immersion/stick blender until smooth.

6. Season to taste with additional allspice, cloves, salt, and vinegar to taste.

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