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Holly’s BBQ Cherry Cola Ribs

These finger-licking yummy ribs are made especially tender from the secret ingredient, cherry cola! A real crowd-pleaser, this recipe is fun to make for both grill gods and goddesses. I originally wrote this recipe for Safeway Select Magazine, a magazine published by Sunset Magazine for Safeway and Von’s Grocery Stores. I was a contributing editor for that publication for over 10 years

Prep Time: 4 to 24 hours for marinating/ 45-60 minutes

Makes: 4-6 servings. If serving a crowd, double or triple the recipe.

3-4 pounds baby back pork ribs
3-4 (8 oz.) cans Cherry Cola
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 sheets (12 x 30-inches each) heavy duty aluminum foil
3/4 cup cherry jam
3/4 cup hickory smoke barbecue sauce

Remove the thin membrane from the back of each rack of ribs. Cut rib racks into thirds. Place in a heavy duty freezer zippered bag. Pour coke over ribs to cover, and seal bag. Place bag in a dish and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.

Allow the ribs to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Preheat grill to medium (350-375 degrees F) for indirect grilling.

Drain ribs of coke and pat dry. Mix brown sugar, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl. Pat tops of ribs with mixture.

Center half of ribs in single layer, meat side up, on each sheet of Safeway aluminum foil. Bring up sides of foil. Double fold the top and one end to seal packet. Pour 1/4 cherry coke through open end. Double fold the remaining end, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make two packets.

Grill 45 to 60 minutes in the center of a covered grill. Meanwhile mix cherry jam and barbecue sauce in a small container. Reserve half for serving.

Remove foil and place ribs directly on grill. Brush with barbecue sauce mixture. Continue grilling 10 to 15 minutes, brushing with sauce and turning every 5 minutes.

Make-Ahead Suggestion: Grill the ribs in advance, slice into serving pieces, and refrigerate up to two days or freeze for up to 2 months covered with the barbecue sauce.  If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours before reheating and serving. Reheat covered in a preheated 350 degree F oven 20-30 minutes, or until heated. Or serve them al fresco at room temp. YUM!

Accompanying Beverage Suggestions:  
Mixed Drinks: Sangria, Margaritas
Riesling, White Zinfandel, Rioja
Viognier, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese

Vienna Style Lager
American All-Malt Lager
American Brown Ale
American Dark Wheat Ale
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
California Common / Steam Beer
English Porter

Irish Dry Stout

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