Pomegranate Sticks to the Ribs - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Pomegranate Sticks to the Ribs

August 14, 2009 at 7:22 am | Posted in Appetizers, Dinner, Lunch, Pork | 78 Comments
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Before I begin, I’d like to mention that, regrettably, I had to skip this month’s Daring Cooks challenge.  It’s a recipe called Rice with mushrooms, Cuttlefish and Artichokes, created by Jose Andres, and chosen/hosted by Olga of Las Cosas de Olga and Olgas Recipes.  If you have some time and would like the recipe, please take a moment to check out some of the Daring Cook’s takes on and mouth watering photos of it by checking out the Daring Cooks Blogroll and clicking on the links to their blogs.  BUT..HEY, I’ve got RIBS!

Amazing Dry Rub Oven Roasted 'Fall off the Bone' Ribs and easy homemade BBQ Sauce with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top!

So…I was cleaning out my fridge last month, and suddenly..way in the back, a little ruby bottle appeared.  WHAT?  How did I not finish that 8-pack of Pomegranate juice that POM Wonderful sent me last February or March?  I started to open it, ready to guzzle, but then, being an avid peruser/reader of food blogs, I recalled a recipe I saw a few months ago, created by the lovely couple at Fotocuisine, a food blog with, well..obviously, stunning and mouth-watering photographs.

He’s the chef, she’s the photographer – which is like peanut butter and jelly in the macrocosm of food blogs.

Dry Rub for awesome ribs, chicken etc,Dry Rub

In any event, this was a recipe I was dying to tackle, and I remember thinking, ‘Damn, too bad I don’t have any of that POM Wonderful left!’.  Well, apparently the people at POM Wonderful read my mind and sent their little ruby red fairy to deposit a bottle into my fridge with a flick of her wand.

The Best BBQ Sauce - with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top!

The beginning of a beautiful BBQ sauce with the ‘elusive’ POM Wonderful pomegranate juice

I hadn’t made ribs in a while, and their recipe for grilled, oven braised POM Pomegranate Barbecue Ribs struck like lightning before the opening of the bottle hit my lips.  I screwed the cap back on and placed it back in the fridge, knowing a trip to the market for some baby back ribs was inevitable.  Just my luck, they happened to have some gorgeous baby backs on sale.  I bought several racks, since I knew I was going to want to make this again..and again.  ‘Highly intuitive’ was something that was always written about me by teachers back in the day.  Too bad I don’t listen to my ‘intuition’ as often as I should have.

The Best BBQ Sauce - with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top!

Well, my intuition was correct, these ribs are fabulous.  I made a few changes to the dry rub (added some dried chile powders and herbs), BBQ sauce (added finely diced onions and reduced the cumin and lemon juice), and cooking time/temp, but nothing too drastic.  The sauce was sweet, rich, slightly tart, and zesty, with a kick of heat (I increased the burn by seasoning it with the spicy dry rub).  The meat was juicy and tender, sliding off the bone with each bite, almost melting on the tongue.  I’m so glad I made these, and due to popular vote, I have to make them again…and again….and again…

The Best BBQ Sauce - with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top!

Now, before I get to their recipe with my changes, I need to ‘veer’ off a bit.  My camera  broke.  I guess it was looking for a little a little spark in its life.  While uploading some photos this past Monday, there was a power surge, and the wire connected to it blew, little iridescent scintillas literally shocking me and sending some kind of electric sex up into the body of my camera.  When I tried to take some photos on Tuesday, all I got was ERROR this, and ERROR that, the camera shuddering and beeping away every time I pressed the shutter button.

To add insult to injury, when I reached for the Canon manual to troubleshoot, my elbow knocked against my ONE good lens, and KABOOM, it hit the floor and cracked in half. Why? Why?

I carefully wrapped my critically injured camera and lens in bubble wrap, placed them gingerly in a cloth bag, and brought it to a local camera shop.  The proprietor told me *sniff* they had to be sent away for repair, and he wasn’t quite sure they would *sniff* make it – aka it might not be worth the price to repair either of them.  OH NO, what was I going to do?  I asked if he had an XSi, XTi or XT I could rent until we received the final diagnosis.  He did, but it didn’t have any X’s attached to it.

To put it simply, I could hear the faint heartbeat of the alternative/grunge rock movement coming from it.

Amazing Dry Rub Oven Roasted 'Fall off the Bone' Ribs and easy homemade BBQ Sauce with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top!

Wellll, it was better than nothing, and I didn’t want to use my old, crappy point and shoot (see photos from May, June and July of ’08).  Unfortunately, I also had to revert back to the lens that came with my camera, so since the tragic accident, the photos I’ve taken have been more than less than stellar.  Remember, I have no natural light to begin with, so I need all the help I can get/afford when it comes to photographing my food.

Amazing Dry Rub Oven Roasted 'Fall off the Bone' Ribs and easy homemade BBQ Sauce with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top!

     The ribs with chile lime butter grilled corn on the cob

Thankfully, I made and photographed these ribs in July, so although nowhere near the perfection of Fotocuisine’s photos, they’re a lot better than what may soon be coming.  On another note, I sort of tried to emulate some of the photos of the rib preparation and ingredients at Fotocuisine.  HA!  What was I thinking?

Amazing Dry Rub Oven Roasted 'Fall off the Bone' Ribs and easy homemade BBQ Sauce with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top!

Pomegranate BBQ Ribs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 servings
Adapted from Fotocuisine
'Fall of the bone' tender, extremely moist, and chockful of flavor!
  • 1 rack pork baby back ribs
Dry Rub
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 tsp table salt)
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground coarsely
  • ½ tablespoon ancho powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Pomegranate BBQ Sauce *
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Half a medium onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup honey **
  • ½ of a cherry or jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • Some of the dry rub to taste or just salt and pepper
Prepare the Ribs
  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the dry rub. Sprinkle on and rub into both sides of the ribs until well coated. If desired and/or you have the time, you could wrap the dry rubbed pork in plastic wrap, tightly, and let marinate in the fridge for several hours prior to cooking.
Make the Sauce
  1. In a medium to large sauce pan,combine the garlic, onions, tomato paste, dry mustard, cumin, pomegranate juice, molasses and honey.
  2. Whisk it while bringing it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened and reduced by one third to one half. Squeeze/stir in the lemon juice.
  3. Add some of the dry rub OR salt and pepper to taste - NOT all three. Set aside until ready to baste.
Cook the Ribs
  1. Preheat oven to 225 or 250 F. Heat a large grill pan, your outdoor grill or BBQ (bricks or coal) until very hot. Sear the ribs on both sides until you've got color, but that's it - don't go any further.
  2. Place the ribs on a foil lined sheet pan and paint/mop both sides, generously, with some of the sauce. Cover with another sheet of foil and place in the preheated oven. If using your grill or BBQ, apply the sauce to both sides until well coated, but wrap the ribs in foil and lower/close the cover of the BBQ or Grill.
  3. This is where I differ in cooking time and temp. I let these ribs go for anywhere from 2-4 hours (depending on the weight/thickness of the ribs) at 225 or 250 F, lifting up the foil covering the sheet pan and basting both sides of the ribs every 30 minutes with the sauce, then replacing the foil to cover the sheet pan. On a BBQ or Grill, you would unwrap and baste, then wrap again. 160 F means DONE, but you can go a bit further, just not too much. I didn't use a thermometer, I just went by taste and feel with a fork.
  4. When the ribs are done to your liking ('falling off the bone' tender is what you want), preheat your broiler, and let broil for about 2 to 5 minutes until bubbling and a deeper brown in color (of course you want those crispy bits!). **Cook down the remaining sauce for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Serve the ribs with the extra sauce on the side.
    Have plenty of napkins and moist towelettes on hand, and enjoy these finger lickin' phenomenal ribs!
*- I doubled the recipe for extra sauce to serve with the ribs. Also, make life easier by dividing the sauce in half..one half for basting, the other half for serving. If you run out of sauce during basting, just pour some of the other half into the basting bowl, but I doubt you would run out. When time to serve, just heat up the remaining sauce, with no worries of cross contamination since none of it touched the brush that was used to baste the pork as it cooked..
**If you like your BBQ sauce even sweeter, increase the honey. Less sweet, reduce it.

On a final note, I WILL be telling the story of the two women plus men ‘gym experience’ in my next entry..I promise!  AND, I was incredibly flattered to receive this award from Lauren at Celiac Teen.


She’s a sweetheart of a girl, and her blog is one to check out, especially considering how she has to adjust her eating habits and cooking/baking due to Celiac Disease.  She’s incredibly creative and has such a positive attitude!  That said, now I have to pass this on to 13 people and in turn, you guys pass this on to 13 people.  Spread the sentiment!

Jill at Jillicious Discoveries
Julia at Melanger to Mix
Marta at Just call me Marta
Juliana at Simple Recipes
Mandy at What the Fruitcake?!
Megan at Feasting on Art
Valerie at The Chocolate Bunny
Sophie at Sophies Foodiefiles
Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti
Isa at Eat My Cake Now
Laura at shore (house) chic.
Claire at Cooking is Medicine
Rose at The Bite Me Kitchen

The best homemade dry rub for ribs and chicken, plus an amazing BBQ sauce recipe!Bookmark and Share


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  1. Hi Lisa!

    I was thinking of you tonight! I was so happy the Yankees sweep the Red Sox series … it was long overdue! Did you go to any of thre games?

    It has been so crazy the past few weeks. A few of our friends lost their elderly parents and we have been going for one wake to another.

    Thanks you so much for thinking about me. I appreciate your kindness….and these short ribs look absolutely delicious!

    Hugs, Pat

  2. My mom and brother love ribs…I, not so much, but I bet these would be a huge hit at any party!

  3. Thanks for the Lovely Blog Award! Very kind of you!! I think I would take your ribs over my octopus any day!

  4. Lisa, sorry to hear about your injured camera and cracked lense. Hope they could repair with a reasonable price!

    Anyway, salute for your blogging spirit despite the incident, and your pomegranate barbeque ribs rock!

    And congrats for the One Lovely Blog Award!


    • This looks like shit

      • Nothing better to do tonight, Bubba? lol I assure you, they taste amazing!

  5. Hi Lisa! I checkout out your ribs recipe. They look scrumptIous! Might just try those this weekend. And i will so be making those peanut butter and cream cheese brownies! I have a recipe similar to that (Santa Fe brownies), but without the peanut butter. PB, cream cheese and chocolate…how can you go wrong?!



  6. Awwww, thank you for the award. Very sweet! I first was taken by the link as it had the word ‘ribs’ in it. Delicious!!! Your photos are great, by the way. What camera and lens do you use???

  7. Love the ribs in pomegranate! What a great idea anyway.. And o what a disaster that you broke your lens!! I hope it can still be repaired but I can almost feel your pain from here. I would be completely devastated without my camera… I would lend you mine if you were closer (I have two, since I need to be able to use another one if one breaks!)

  8. Drool…ribs…mmmm…drool…(ribs reduce me to a very primal state!). Sorry to hear about the camera. I’ve been using a point and shoot forever, in fact i still use a point and shoot but a much better one now (the Canon Powershot G10 – it’s awesome) – but I hear your pain! hope they come back soon.

  9. Oh wow, they look so good! I got the Pom Wonderful too and it was great but I never thought to make ribs out of it! They look so finger licking and lip smackingly good…*drools*

  10. Wow! These look awesome. My son would love these ribs!! I would too…

  11. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Getting recognition from bloggers I admire, such as yourself, is very meaningful to me! *blushing*
    And congrats on getting it yourself, you deserve it since you blog is, indeed, very lovely :)
    These ribs look fantastic, stick and sweet. I love anything with pomegranate.
    I’m off to Japan this week, but I’ll come back to read you in a little while!

  12. Congratulations on your award! Your ribs look award winning too!

  13. This recipe sounds so wonderful! I will have to try it. The photos are amazing too.

  14. Lisa,

    Terrific looking ribs, but where the paella? If you told sooner, I would have brounght over rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes. lol!

    I love the magically appearing ingredients. It’s like the magically appearing $20 people find in their pocket or purse.

    Sorry to hear that your camera got fried. Like the magic ingredients and magic money, maybe there’s another camera hiding out there waiting to be found. :-)

  15. Those ribs are mouthwatering!! So sorry about your camera… I think your pictures are still gorgeous. I sure want those ribs after looking at them.

  16. *drool*

    Have I ever mentioned that ribs are one of my favourite foods EVER? All those close-ups of that gorgeous meat are killing me here! It looks absolutely succulent!

    Sorry to hear about your camera – that must have been traumatizing!

    Thank you so much for the award, you are so sweet! :-)

  17. HOLY COW (or pig, rather) those ribs look AMAZING! We usually use leftover POM in martinis (delicious btw) but on ribs? Ribs? Genius.

    Sorry to hear about your camera troubles, and breaking the lens just HURTS.

    Thank your the award =) That made my day already!!!

    I am going to make these ribs ASAP!

  18. Thanks, thats so sweet, I’m glad you’re enjoying the award =D. I’m so sorry about you lens, that really must stink. However, you’re an amazing food photographer, so I know you’ll pull through!

    The ribs look delicious by the way =D.

  19. Lisa those ribs look fabulous and must be heaven on a bone. I just love pom juice I have many bottles in my fridge at the moment I use them to make macarons but this idea sounds so delish I MUST try it. Will contact you when it is done. Bad luck about the camera and total disater about the lens!!! Hope they fixed soon and not too many $$$$. Cheers from Audax and again thanks for you lovely comments you always leave on my blog it always lifts my spirit. You are a huge cheerleader for DK kudos to you. Bravo on these jewells of yummmmmmmm!!!!

  20. Lisa,
    You are so NICE and SWEET!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the award!! I’m so excited to pass it on to another 13 great blogs and will be do so in the next day or two.

    Love the ribs!! Your pictures are still great (bummer about your camera–good luck with that) and they keep me inspired to improve my own.

  21. Lisa your kinda quiet…ha-ha! Just kidding! You know I luv ya especially when you’re serving up food like that!

    Btw, I emailed you. Answer back and tell me what you would do different on the BBQ sauce & rub! I want these for dinner!

    Congrats on your award!

  22. Ok, now I am thinking of a POM Wonderful pig. Can you imagine the color of it? Great work.

    Did I ever tell you the story about making pho, and then promptly dropping my camera in the bowl while photographing it?

  23. LM! You are too much! Wow those ribs, with pomegranate? Interesting and delicious combination! And those peanut butter brownies look soooo goood. Thanks for your sweet words for my mole! I really do like mexican food. (cause I have to! ha!)

  24. Those look heavenly. I feel inspired to clean out my fridge in hope of finding one more POM somewhere. :)

    Sorry about your camera–that sucks.

  25. Finger licking good! Love the pomegranate flavor.
    Ugh, you might be lucky to have skipped the Daring Cooks…mine did not turn out well at all (all my fault though).

  26. I have always wanted to make ribs with pomegranate sauce. THese look incredible.

    I have been meanign to stop by your blog to tell you that I made your brownies. They were sensational. I was wonderign if I could post your recipe when I post them. Of course I will give you credit. Let me know if its okay. Thanks.

    • Lori – Of course you can post the recipe! I’m so glad you liked them!!

  27. Your ribs sounds so luscious,…finger licking good!

    Congrats on your well deserved award & thanks so much of passing it on to me,…

    OOOOOOh,…..I am so honoured!!

  28. I can see you are really passionate about food, and you certainly have a lot of talent in the kitchen. It’s always a pleasure to see your photos and posts. I hope you have much more fun in the future.

  29. POM ribs?!! Those sound (and look) amazing :) I am now majorly craving ribs…

  30. The ribs looks so delicious and what a good idea using pomegranate.

    congrats on your award!

  31. This is one finger-licking ribs!!! Way to use POM into something totally unexpected!

  32. I’m not the biggest BBQ-ey ribs fan, but these look and sound fantastic and my husband would LOVE them!

  33. first of all your photos are awesome! and I will take ribs over rice and mushrooms any day. I mean, is that even a question? Fall off the bone ribs are one of the best things ever invented, and yours look like perfection.

  34. Hehe– I don’t eat red meat anymore, but I remember my mom used to make amazing ribs like yours. Not pomegranate though. Is it weird I don’t like meat but do recall, with a twinge of longing, that ribs are delicious? It’s just BBQ in general! Great stuff.

  35. Oh..no, sorry to hear about your camera, at least you have this wonderful award to ease your pain a little ;) the marinated flavor combo is just MEAAAN :)

  36. The ribs sound fantastic with pomegranate!

  37. Hi Lisa
    Guess what – I am glad you didn’t do the Daring Cook’s Challenge. I feel guilty saying that but I have a kilo of lamb ribs in my fridge that I was planning to barbecue tomorrow and wanted a recipe that was “tried and tested”.

    Also, sorry to hear about your camera… hope it all turns out well.


  38. Although I’m just having my coffee this morning, I’m looking at your post and thinking that ribs would be the perfect breakfast right now- they look so good. So sorry to hear about your camera, but maybe it will go through it’s trials and come out even better. I bet you can work magic with a point and shoot… you just seem like that kind of girl.

  39. I’ve been thinking about pomegranates lately and wondering what to do with them. Your idea and recipe will really help. We’re always looking for new barbecue sauce ideas and I think we’ll try this next week. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  40. Mmmm, yum! I love sinking my teeth into meaty ribs.

  41. Thank you all for your lovely comments! However, I can’t take full credit for this recipe, so I wanted to remind everyone that this recipe was created by the folks over at Fotocuisine – with a few changes by me. I don’t think I would have ever thought of using pomegranate juice in a BBQ sauce! Brilliant idea, and well worth the time it takes to make them!

  42. Oh… what I’ll do to get my soon to be grubby paws on ribs… I swear, don’t come between me and my juicy ribs! These look absolutely awesome!!!

    Also, a big thank you for sending the award my way as well :D

    And on another note…. sucks having your camera & lense broken, I really do feel for you. I think you should make more ribs to cheer yourself up a bit :)

  43. Gosh that looks good! I’ve never seen that combination before. It’s a pity I can’t get pomegranate juice here, it looks perfect!

  44. I love how your intuition told you to buy more ribs. I think I’ll make that a rule when shopping for ribs: always buy enough for two (or more) dinners. That’s a bummer about your camera and lens, but you’ve obviously got food photog skills as you’ve done a stellar job with your temporary camera. Oh, and thanks for the heads up about the pomegranate bbq sauce. Delish!

  45. I could do a quick dance now by just looking at the ribs. Yum! I’ve heard of using POM on bbq ribs but have yet to give it a try … something to think about soon.

  46. The pomegranate sauce sounds fantastic. I have to try it!

  47. Gorgeous ribs! I’m definitely tagging this recipe for my files! Love it! Missed you on the Daring Cooks challenge, as I always look forward to reviewing your monthly entry. See you next month!

  48. These look scrumptious – finger lickin’ good! A wonderful twist on spare ribs.

  49. I love pomegranate so of course I am dying over this sauce recipe. Such a great twist!

  50. Whoa. These look fantastic! Must. Make. Now.

  51. Amazing looking ribs! Great way to use your pom bounty.

  52. Good to see that people still know what they are talking about. So much BS around these days!

  53. Those ribs look viciously flavorful and addictive! Yummy-oh!



  54. For being a vegetarian, your pics are quite droolworthy even for me. We used POM too, in a tangy Chinese gravy. It was sooo good. I can only imagine how this must have been!

  55. Ciao ! You didn’t make the rice but these ribs are to dye for !!!!

  56. Lisamichele,
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I am curious – how do your photographs look so beautiful without the use of a lightbox? What is your secret? What type of a camera do you use? Thanks so much!

  57. Hello Liz

    Sorry to hear about your Camera.
    If I come to dinner will you make these again, I will bring the POM .
    These looks finger licking good , I cannot look at them any more, you are making me so hungry for some, and I am in the middle of pickling and canning…
    the photos are gorgeous makes you hungry looking at them.

    DO you think If I tried your sauce with Pomegranate ConcentrateMolasses will give the same

  58. Thank you so much for the award! Very kind of you.
    These ribs look absolutely delicious and flavorful – I love pomegranate! Sorry to hear about your camera.

  59. Lucky about the POM faries…the ribs look fantastic! So sorry about the camera…hope it comes back just as good as new. Cameras are such a vital part of food blogging that it’s tragic when there is such an accident.

  60. Ouch about the camera!

    These look great, and I love that pic of the dry rub! I love playing with my spices, swirling them into patterns like a sand painting.

  61. OMG, these pictures re just illegal!
    I want a piece of these ribs now! :)

  62. OMG! I about cried when I read about your camera!!! I don’t think I would of been able to pull myself off the floor if that happened to me (man, I have had too many close calls though!)

    However, those photos look awesome! so juicy and man…. made me miss those ribs! We haven’t had them since the post, I can taste them in my mouth right now form your post. I think it’s high time to have them again :D

  63. You’re too sweet! Thanks so much. That dry rub picture TOTALLY looks like a cinnamon roll. Wow…what a shock would that have been. :-) My dad and brother would love this!

  64. Lisa, I have a little award for you on my blog.

  65. Lisa, is the camera fixed yet?? We need you to come back soon…. Promise?? :-)


  66. Those ribs look delicious. Such lovely flavour combinations going on there.

  67. Lisa, where is your challenge? I’m so excited to see what you came up with. :)

  68. Lisa,
    Thank you so much for the award, very sweet of you…as you can see I already passed it on :-)
    This ribs look delicious with the pomegranate BBQ sauce…yummie!

  69. Uhmmm… all I can say is *slurp* and I’ll be purchasing another bottle of POM soon, since the hubby drank all of it months ago. *sigh*

    Wish I could have been there to experience them! :)~


  70. Oh lord, how I wish I could wave a wand and get those ribs her in front of me! They look unbelievable!

  71. This sounds amazing!!! Will be trying this tomorrow!!

    • Awesome, Milli! Let me know how it turns out for you!

  72. […] A bite on this yummy food would surely blow all your senses! You would momentarily forget about your surrounding! Then all you can remember is the lavish taste of this dish! That’s what will happen once you try this heavenly dish! I’m sure you’d enjoy that lavish moment! You’ll love it!The full recipie can be found here […]

  73. I made this tonight and it was really good. I cooked it for about 3 1/2 hours. I didn’t add the molasses to the BBQ sauce because it wasn’t included in the written instructions and container in the pantry was past it’s best before date.
    Everyone in my family agreed that we need to make this again.
    (Don’t forget finger bowls and plenty of serviettes.)

    • Yikes, I must have accidentally deleted the molasses in the instructions when I fixed another minor snafu last week! Thank you for alerting me to this, Nyky! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed them, ad YES..loads of wet naps! lol

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