For the Fourth of July, I have a mouth-watering recipe for baby back pork loin ribs. They are tender and juicy seasoned with Cajun spices and finished with an Apricot BBQ Glaze. It is so hot here in Louisiana; I roasted these in the oven to keep from getting outside in all the heat. So simple!
In Baton Rouge, the main event on the Fourth of July is a large fireworks display launched from a barge in the Mississippi River at night. It’s always impressive as the fireworks explode overhead with the river as a backdrop. We go almost every year as do crowds of folks — but this year I think we may try to do something else.
I’d like to take a leisurely drive to a Cajun community — Pierre Part — along the Achafalaya spillway and take some photos; perhaps eat out. I’ve been going there often; usually at night, to visit clients — I’d like to go back during the day time. In fact, one client suggested this spice blend recipe as being truly Cajun. And he should know. But let’s eat first, then see how we feel.
For this recipe, I coated the ribs with a Cajun-type dry spice rub. Then I roasted the ribs, uncovered, in a low heat oven for two hours. Just leave them alone. This is much simpler than grilling or smoking on a BBQ pit outside. I coated the ribs with the apricot BBQ glaze during the last few minutes. You are done. The ribs fall apart. Serve with the extra glaze.
My favorite grocery store had a special, selling the pork loin ribs as a “loss leader,” a.k.a.– a very marked down discount price to tempt you to come into the store and shop more. It worked — I left the store with a cart full of grocery items. I rarely cook ribs, but these were meaty and tender.
In addition to the Cajun spices, the Apricot BBQ Glaze gives a fruity –sweet and tart — flavor compliment to the pork ribs. The thick apricot jam helps the sauce stick to the ribs. Just add during the last few minutes of roasting.
For a recipe, I searched for one that was not complicated and ended up combining several ideas. Slow roasting the ribs with spicy Cajun seasonings in the oven worked well. I have several variations of a Cajun spices; this one is modified from Emeril Lagasse, New Orleans’ restaurateur, Cajun chef and T.V. personality. It is one of my favorite spice combinations; full of flavors and contains spices which gives a kick–I toned it down a bit. The spice blend is also tasty when added to jambalaya (a tip from my Cajun client) or used to season to chicken, even fish.
This spice concoction combines paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and oregano. Yes, I recommend both peppers — they all have unique flavors. The onion powder often clumps–use the back of a spoon to crush it. Anyone can mix this up — now you are a Cajun chef. I rubbed it on both sides of the ribs prior to baking. Bake uncovered, in a roasting pan for about two hours, in a 325 degree oven until done. This is 2-1/2 pounds of ribs.
Here are the ingredients for the Apricot BBQ glaze.
I added the glaze at the end of roasting — otherwise the glaze will burn. Coat the top side (meatier side) of the ribs with the glaze and roast 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool slightly so ribs can be handled.
Baby Back Pork Loin Ribs with Cajun Spice Rub and Apricot BBQ Glaze
Ingredients for Cajun Spice Rub
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 1/2 tsp black powder
- 1/4 cayenne pepper
Method and Steps for Cajun Spice Rub
- Mix all spices in bowl until combined. Onion powder tends to lump, may need to crush it with back of spoon.
Ingredients for Baby Back Pork Loin Ribs and Apricot BBQ Glaze
- 2 1/2 pounds baby back pork loin ribs
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 1/2 cup Heinz chili sauce
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Rinse and pat dry the baby back pork ribs and transfer to roasting pan with bones down.
- Sprinkle the Cajun spice rub on both sides of the ribs, with most of the spice rub on the meaty side of the ribs. Rub into the meat.
- Place in 325 degree oven and roast for two hours or until ribs start to fall off bones.
- Meanwhile made Apricot BBQ Glaze: In medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook one minute longer. Add remaining ingredients, stir until bubbly. Turn to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- After 2 hours, at the end of cooking, spread the Apricot BBQ glaze over the top (or meatier side) of the ribs. Roast 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool slightly until meat can be handled. Carefully transfer to carving board and cut between every two ribs.
- Serve and pass remaining Apricot BBQ Glaze.
A delicious recipe for the Fourth of July. Enjoy!