Well, just like that, another Ribfest has come and gone. And, once again, I’m the winner. Sorry, Big-D. I know I should have taken it easier on you because (in your own words) ‘You don’t stand a chance, with me being a fancy food blogger and all.’

These beer braised pineapple jalapeño ribs were actually not a ‘contestant’ in this years face-off. But the honey mustard spareribs that did win were so good that I instantly wanted more.

Yup. More riiiiiiiiibs. Bigmouth hungry!

And, since I’m on a major fresh pineapple kick lately, I decided to try coming up with a recipe for a pineapple based sauce, with a spicy kick. It also gave me an excuse to try slow braising a few racks with a combination of sugar/salt curing and my favorite local beer, Mr. Pineapple.

The result? My new favorite rib recipe.

Big-D, if you’re smart, you’ll bookmark this and just make these next year. Then you just might stand a chance.

Ohhhhhh, snap.

Beer Braised Pineapple Jalapeño Ribs
(makes 4 – 6 servings)

4 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
2 racks pork baby-back ribs
1 can (12 oz) Mr. Pineapple Wheat beer (or, 12 oz of your favorite wheat beer mixed with 1/4 cup pineapple juice)

Pineapple Jalapeño BBQ Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion (diced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 jalapeño (diced)
1 cup fresh pineapple (cubed)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, cumin, oregano, and white pepper. Trim the rib racks into four individual smaller racks, and lay them on their own individual sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle both sides of each rack evenly with the sugar/salt mixture, then lay them, meat side down, on the foil. Fold the ends of the foil and seal tightly, so each rack is in it’s own little curing pouch. Refrigerate on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper for at least 3 hours.

When you’re ready to get cooking, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and let the ribs come to room temperature. Open one end of each pouch and pour in even amounts of the Mr. Pineapple (or beer/pineapple juice mixture) then reseal the pouches tightly and arrange in a single layer on the parchment paper lined sheet pan.

Cook the ribs in the preheated oven for 2.5 hours.

When you’re around 45 minutes into the rib cooking time, make the pineapple jalapeño bbq sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until slightly softened, then add the jalapeño, garlic and pineapple, and saute until everything is softened and smelling amazing.

Add the remaining sauce ingredients, stir to combine, bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender and pulse to a smooth consistency, then transfer back to the saucepan and continue simmering over low heat.

After the ribs have been cooking for 1 hour, remove them from the oven and pour a bit of the braising liquid from each pouch into the pan with the sauce ingredients. Return the ribs to the oven for the remaining 1.5 hours. Stir the sauce mixture to combine and simmer on low for another 15 – 20 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the heat and cover until ready to use.

When the ribs have finished roasting, set the oven to broil, transfer the ribs from their pouches directly to the parchment lined sheet pan and generously baste each side with the pineapple jalapeño bbq sauce. Broil the ribs, meat side up, for just a few minutes to finish them off.

Dig in, then thank me later.