How to make Southern soda pop ribs

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One thing I’ve noticed about Southern cooks is that they have a knack for taking common, everyday items and using them to give dishes a spin that’s distinct to the South. The recipe below is a great example. Soda pop turns a regular barbecue sauce into a uniquely flavorful glaze for pork ribs.
Cooks in the South have their own individual preferences for what type of soda to use, but having tried out numerous recipes, I can tell you that any brown soda — whether it’s a basic cola, Cherry Coke, root beer or even Dr. Pepper — will result in a finger-licking good sauce. Just don’t use diet soda! The sugar is key.
Cooktop Cove
Southern Soda Pop Ribs
10 minutes
1 hour and 30 minutes
1 hour and 40 minutes
For the ribs
2 racks baby-back ribs (about 4 pounds)
3 cups soda (cola, root beer, Dr. Pepper, etc.)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
For the sauce
1½ cups ketchup
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ cup soda
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the ribs in a large stockpot and add the soda, onion, garlic and bay leaves along with enough water to completely cover the ribs. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour, until the meat can easily be pulled from the bone.
Meanwhile, stir together the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, soda and Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened or about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
After the ribs have finished simmering, cut them into serving portions and arrange them on a large, rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Smother them with the sauce, and broil until the sauce bubbles and caramelizes, or about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with additional sauce on the side.
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