Baby Back Ribs and Texas Blackjack Sauce

I saw this recipe in Woman’s Day magazine in 2005. It immediately went in my Big Black Books and I prepared it for the first time that summer, my last in Chicago. I remember being very leery of the fact there was coffee (blech!) involved… but I quickly got over it. The unique flavor sent my palate over the top.

We fired up the grill on game day, spun the TV around so we could watch the action from outdoors, and every single Cubs fan who walked by en route to Wrigley Field made a comment about the divine smell. I joked that every game day I should sell ribs off the side of the balcony in brown lunch sacks.
I no longer have the cool vintage apartment with the awesome balcony that overlooks the mecca of all that is baseball. But I still have this recipe and a Little League park about six blocks away.

It’s all the same to me as long as barbecue sauce is involved…


Baby Back Ribs with Texas Blackjack Sauce {and Peach Coleslaw}

From: Woman’s Day Magazine, 2005


  • Baby Back Ribs with Blackjack Sauce
    3 lb baby-back ribs, cut into 4 sections
    1 bottle (18 oz) barbecue sauce
    3 Tbsp brown sugar
    2 Tbsp instant coffee
    2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Peach Coleslaw
    1⁄4 cup slaw dressing
    1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    4 cups coleslaw mix
    2 ripe medium peaches, chopped
    1⁄2 cup chopped red pepper
    Good with: grilled corn on the cob


1. Put ribs in large pot with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes, or until meat is fork-tender.
2. Meanwhile, mix barbecue sauce, sugar, coffee and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar and coffee dissolve. Remove from heat.
3. Coleslaw: Stir dressing and mustard in a large bowl; add coleslaw mix, peaches and red pepper; toss to mix. Refrigerate until serving.
4. Coat outdoor grill rack with nonstick spray. Heat grill. Place ribs, rounded side down, on rack. Brush with sauce; grill 3 minutes. Turn ribs; brush with sauce; grill 6 minutes more. Turn ribs again; brush with sauce; grill another 3 minutes.
5. Serve with rest of sauce and coleslaw. Can be prepared through Step 2 one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

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