Spicy Ribs with Fermented BBQ Sauce

Summer is here and that means BBQ season. And with that is also Father's Day! Here's a delectable recipe that every Dad would love, and it doesn't even require a grill. The fermented sauce provides a ton of flavor and tenderizes the meat for an unparalleled finger-licking good gustatory experience.


For the sauce -
Yield: approx. 3 cups (720 ml)

  • 2-1/2 cups (600 ml) filtered water
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons (22.5 ml) sea salt
  • 1 - 2 dried chipotle
  • 1 -2 dried ancho chiles
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) cacao nibs
  • 6 oz. (170 g) firm tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 - 3 shallots or 1/2 of a small onion, roughly cut
  • 1 -2 jalapenos, seeded
  • 6 - 7 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) blackstrap molasses

For the ribs -

  • 5 lbs. (2250 g) beef ribs
  • 1-1/2 cups (360 ml) Fermented BBQ Sauce for marinade
  • 1-1/2 cups (360 ml) Fermented BBQ Sauce for dipping

1. Bring filtered water to a boil and pour into a glass, stainless steel, or ceramic bowl. Dissolve the salt to make the brine. Allow the brine to cool completely.
2. Soak the dried chipotle and ancho chiles in warm water for about 20 minutes. Drain.
3. Place the ingredients into a quart-size mason jar. Start with the cacao nibs first, then tomato dices, and the rest of the ingredients, EXCEPT the molasses.
4. Using a wooden spoon or Kraut Source pounder, lightly tamper down the ingredients so that they are leveled with the shoulder of the jar.
5. Pour in the brine until it reaches one inch above the top of the ingredients.
6. Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 7 - 10 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Check every few days to make sure that there is water in the moat.
7. When ready, strain the ferment, but reserve the liquid.
8. Place the fermented ingredients and the blackstrap molasses into a blender with about 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the fermented liquid and blend until smooth. Add in a little more liquid as needed, but not too much! As the consistency should be thick, like ketchup.

9. Pour 1-1/2 cups (360 ml) of the sauce over raw ribs and marinade for 24 - 48 hours. Turn the ribs over at mid-point to ensure that all both sides are evenly marinaded.
10. Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees F (135 C).
11. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the ribs in a single layer.
12. Bake for 3 hours or until ribs are very tender.

Note: Don't toss the extra fermented liquid. Save it to use in a salad dressing, or make spicy cocktails, etc.