David’s Honey-Walnut Ribs

From DIY: Do It For the Bees

DAVID’S Honey-Walnut Ribs

David Williams, executive chef at the Bull Valley Roadhouse, has a deep sense for what makes food appealing and heartwarming. It’s the essential ingredient of the restaurant’s stellar success since its opening in 2012. That, paired with the extraordinary contributions of friends, industry colleagues, and Port Costa townsfolk, is what put the place on the map—and makes David’s Honey-Walnut Ribs so damned good. 

Photo by Erin Scott

Photo by Erin Scott

Serves 6 as entrée or 12 as appetizer

2 racks pork ribs, membrane removed
For the rub:
½ cup salt
1 cup ground pepper
1/3 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika or pimentón
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
For the braise:
Honey or maple syrup (optional)
22 ounces dark beer or stout
2 cups stock or apple juice
For grilling:
Honey-Walnut Barbecue Sauce
For garnish:
Chopped cilantro

Combine all rub ingredients in a bowl. Rub this mixture evenly over the ribs, place ribs on a tray, cover loosely, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Shortly before you want to cook the ribs, bring them to room temperature.

To braise: Preheat oven to 350°. Place ribs in one layer across the bottom of a braising pan. Coat top of ribs with a small amount of honey or maple syrup (if desired), and then pour the beer and stock (or apple juice) into the pan. Bake, covered, for 2½ hours. The ribs are done braising when they are soft to the touch, but not falling apart. Serve immediately with the following barbecue sauce, or cool, coat with the sauce, and then grill before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro when serving.

Honey-Walnut Barbecue Sauce

Pick up Full Belly Farm’s pomegranate molasses and Hot, Hot, Hot Sauce from the Berkeley Farmers’ Market to make this a true local treat.

14 ounces organic ketchup
1½ cups brown sugar
1 cup organic cane sugar
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
Juice from ½ lemon
½ cup pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons hot sauce, or to taste
½ cup honey
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
½ bunch cilantro, chopped

Place all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and whisk gently over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Lower heat and let simmer to allow flavors to meld, about 20 minutes. Serve warm. Sauce can be made a day ahead and heated as needed.