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Apple-Bacon Barbecue Sauce & Mop


Yields enough sauce and mop for 2 racks St. Louis-style spareribs or 3 racks baby back ribs

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 93

The smoky-sweet flavor of this mop and sauce is a classic complement for pork ribs. For full instructions for barbecuing the ribs with the sauce, see the Apple-Bacon Barbecued Ribs recipe.

  • 1/4 lb. (4 to 5 slices) bacon
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 5 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-low heat until browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Drain the bacon on paper towels and eat it whenever you like. Pour about one-half the bacon fat into a small saucepan and reserve the remaining fat in the skillet for the barbecue sauce. To the saucepan, add 1/2 cup of the apple juice and 2 Tbs. of the cider vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then remove from the heat (this is the mop).

Add the remaining 1/4 cup apple juice, 3 Tbs. cider vinegar, and the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, chile powder, paprika, cumin, celery seed, and pepper to the bacon fat in the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking until smooth. As soon as the barbecue sauce simmers, remove the skillet from the heat.

Photo: Scott Phillips

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