Bourbon and barbecue are classic partners in the USA’s south, with the bourbon lending an oaky sweetness to these ribs.






Skill level

Average: 3 (1 vote)


  • 2 racks American-style pork ribs
  • hot sauce and coleslaw, to serve


Bourbon barbecue sauce

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) apple cider vinegar
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 280 g (1 cup) store-bought tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 100 ml bourbon
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika


‘Collard’ greens

  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cavolo nero (see Note), trimmed, roughly chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place ribs in a large stockpot and cover with cold water and 2 teaspoon of salt. Place over medium-high heat, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover pan and simmer for 50 minutes or until ribs are tender, checking ribs every 15 minutes and removing any scum floating on the surface. Transfer ribs to a large wire rack set over a tray and cool.

Meanwhile, to make barbecue sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened and coloured. Add remaining ingredients and 125 ml (½ cup) water, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 15 minutes or until thickened and reduced. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Cool completely.

Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan to high. Brush both sides of ribs with barbecue sauce and season with a little salt. Cook ribs, turning and basting with extra sauce every 2 minutes, for 8 minutes or until charred and sticky.

Meanwhile, to make collard greens, place butter and oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add cavolo nero and stir for 3 minutes or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve ribs with hot sauce, coleslaw and collard greens.


• Cavolo nero is from select greengrocers. Substitute silverbeet or chard.



Photography Brett Stevens. Food preparation Leanne Kitchen and Phoebe Wood. Styling Vivien Walsh.


As seen in Feast magazine, November 2014, Issue 37.