Danish Baby Back Ribs

This week’s Carnival of the Recipes is being hosted by Egoist and it has a Danish theme, so The General had decided to post about ribs…specifically Danish Baby Back Ribs.

Danish Flag

The General’s rib of choice is not the baby back rib – it is the St. Louis “2 and up” cut. (See earlier post.) I feel that this cut gives the most meat per bone and is the most flavorful. And this is the cut that I most often use in competition. However, if a catering client specifies “Baby Backs” then, of course, the General will oblige.

Many restaurants (Chili’s comes to mind) have marketed the baby back ribs as the “only” truly great rib taste wise…have your own taste test and then you decide.

So, what is the difference between a baby back rib and a St. Louis cut?

The Ribman gives a great chart and clear explanations of the cuts from the hog.

And my friend Mark Thomas gives the definitive answer that has always puzzled The General. What is the difference between American and Danish baby back ribs? There is one more rib on the Danish ribs….13 instead of 12! The Danish hog is called the “Land Race.” Mark went on to say that there are three defining points to the taste of pork ribs. The breed of the hog, what it is fed, and the age it is slaughtered.

In deference to the Danish theme this week, here is a recipe for a similar product to “Chili’s Baby Back Ribs” (of course The General prefers his competition ribs recipe the best!)

Rib Entry-1

4 racks of Danish pork baby back ribs


1 1/2 C water

1 C white vinegar

1/2 C tomato paste

1 T yellow mustard

2/3 C dark brown sugar

1 t liquid smoke

1 1/2 t salt

1/2 t onion powder

1/4 t garlic powder

1/4 t paprika

  • Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat
  • After coming to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is thick (about 45 min)
  • Preheat oven to 300*
  • Brush sauce over the entire surface of each rib
  • Wrap each rack tightly in aluminum foil and arrange the packets on a backing sheet with the seam of the foil facing up.
  • Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the meat on the ribs has pulled back from the cut ends of the bones by about 1/2 inch
  • Get your grill ready.
  • Remove the ribs from the foil and grill them for 4-8 minutes until they just begin to char
  • Right before you are ready to take the ribs off, brush both sides with the sauce
  • Remove immediately or the sauce will burn

By baking the ribs in tightly wrapped foil, this recipe calls for you to steam them. This will produce a tender rib, but steam takes away flavor. That is why this recipe relies on the sauce being spread heavily over the ribs.

*The General always slow cooks his ribs to retain the flavor and gain the tenderness.*

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