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Backyard Summer Shenanigans - Part 4

Backyard Summer Shenanigans - Part 4

| July 26, 2023

For the final installment of Backyard Summer Shenanigans, we’re gonna get a little crazy, so break out the ice and buckets of beer - it's New Orleans-Style Babyback Beer Ribs and Twister time! While these two are a lot of work, they are worth every minute of it!

New Orleans-Style Babyback Beer Ribs


Spice Rub Mix:

4 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin

1 tablespoon toasted and ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1 tablespoon crumbled achiote


3 racks baby back pork ribs (about 5 pounds)

1 quart chicken stock

64 ounces beer

3 bay leaves


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 poblano chiles, seeded and chopped

3 medium onions, roughly cut

2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 carrots, roughly chopped

2 sliced and seeded jalapeno chile peppers

Two 20-ounce cans Roma tomatoes

3/4 cups molasses

1 cup honey

One 2-ounce can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1 orange, peeled with pith removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

3/4 cup lime juice


Spice Rub Mix: 

Mix together all ingredients.


Preheat the gas grill on low for 1/2 hour. If using charcoal, let the coals burn to embers, also about 1/2 hour after lighting.

Cut the rib racks in half horizontally along the bone. Season the ribs with a 1/2 of the spice rub mix. Add chicken stock, beer, and bay leaves in a large roasting pan. Lower the ribs into the liquid. Bring up to a simmer and poach the ribs for 15 minutes.

Take the ribs out of the liquid and season them with the other 1/2 of the spice rub on both sides. While re-spicing the ribs, bring the liquid up to a boil over low heat to reduce.

Take the ribs outside to the grill. The coals should be at the ember stage. Gas grills stay on low. Place ribs on the grill and cover to smoke for 2 hours. While the ribs are cooking, the sauce can be finished.


Add the olive oil to a large, preheated saute pan. Add the poblanos and onions, and saute for 5 or 6 minutes until caramelized. Add the garlic, carrots, and jalapenos and saute for another 3 minutes. Add the Roma tomatoes and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Add the molasses, honey, and chipotle with adobo sauce. Add the orange, then salt and pepper. Add this to the sauce mixture when the initial braising liquid has been reduced by half. Let everything simmer for 20 minutes, or pop it in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 20 minutes.

Blend the sauce mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in red wine vinegar and lime juice.

Bring sauce to grill and brush on ribs for the last half hour of grilling.

Game Time!

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, a throwback to childhood for several generations - Lawn Twister. While this will take more effort than dragging out the cornhole set, it is an absolute hoot, especially when everyone’s fingers are still sticky from the ribs!  So,  get yourself 4 cans of spray chalk, make a circle template out of cardboard, and lay a string down on the grass for a straight line, and you are ready to roll. Spray four rows of colored circles and whip up a quick color spinner or 4 colored cubes, and it’s time to get twisted! 

Have fun out there, and please don’t blame me if you break something! If you like what you’ve read and think your friends and family can benefit as well, please share.


1 Recipe courtesy of Jan Birnbaum for Food Network Magazine

2 "Lawn Twister" & Other Creative Family Reunion Ideas!