Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Glazed Ribs to Die For - Cleo Coyle's Special Bourbon Berry "Coffeehouse" BBQ Sauce

My recipe for you today is a sweet and tangy BBQ glaze with a harmonious mix of flavors.

It has a bit of good old Southern comfort (bourbon); the bright, sweet-tart flavor of berries (raspberries); and an earthy touch of my own amateur sleuth's trademark ingredient (coffee). I also added a bit of ginger to bring a lovely Asian note to the sauce, giving it a kind of NYC Chinatown-ribs sort of vibe.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my husband and I do.

~ Cleo Coyle, author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Cleo Coyle’s


Yields about 1 cup of glaze, enough to BBQ 3 to 3.5 pounds of pork ribs or chicken part


½ cup coffee
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup (15 to 18) fresh raspberries, crushed with fork
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon bourbon (I use Jim Beam)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon ground ginger (or 2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger)
*(optional) 1 tablespoon molasses, not blackstrap (I use Grandma’s brand Original Molasses)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

*I've made molasses optional for those of you who are allergic or aren’t fond of the flavor. The brown sugar does bring that flavor note to the glaze, but if you enjoy molasses, by all means, add it!

Directions: Into a small saucepan, stir up all of the ingredients but the cornstarch. Bring to a roiling boil and sprinkle the cornstarch over the liquid. Stir to dissolve. Turn down the heat until the liquid comes to a simmer and continue stirring and simmering for 5 to 8 minutes. You're watching for the mixture to thicken enough for a brush to hold it but not so much that you’ll have trouble mopping ribs or chicken with the sauce. (See my photo above.)


To download a free PDF of this recipe
that you can print, save, or share,
click here.


Yield note: The ribs in my photos weighed 3.25 pounds. One cup of my glaze was enough to BBQ these with a bit of glaze to spare. If you double the amount of ribs (to 6 pounds), then double the amount of glaze (to 2 cups). If you triple the amount, triple the amount of glaze, and so on.

Low and slow cooking is the way to make juicy, delicious ribs. First preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat your grilling rack with nonstick cooking spray.

(I have to tell you: I am lovin' the Pam brand "grilling" spray. It works very well on BBQ racks, making cleanup astoundingly easy.)

Before cooking the ribs, lightly salt and pepper both sides, then place the ribs on the grilling rack, fat side up. Cook for twenty minutes and flip. Cook a 2nd twenty minutes. You are now ready to begin brushing the ribs with the glaze

Flip the ribs over (fat side up again) and liberally coat with the glaze. Cook for a 3rd twenty minute period. Flip the ribs, glaze the other side and continue cooking, for a 4th twenty minute interval.

Turn the ribs a 5th time. (You will see the glaze is now caramelizing.) Coat with another layer of the glaze and cook for another 20. Turn a 6th time. Glaze lightly and cook for a final ten to fifteen minutes.


Total cooking time is
115 minutes (just under 2 hours).

Remove the rack of ribs from the
oven, slice, plate, and enjoy!



The USDA has recently confirmed that 145 degrees Fahrenheit measured on a thermometer, followed by a three-minute rest, is a safe final internal cooking temperature for pork. According to the editors at foodbuzz: "Because of this important 15-degree temperature difference, you can now enjoy medium-rare pork, just as you do other meats. 'Pork cooked to 145 degrees F. is juicy, tender and perfectly pink,' said Guy Fieri, celebrity chef and restaurateur. 'And the food service industry has followed this cooking standard for nearly ten years.'" So...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


  1. Thanks so much, Cleo for all the support and shout-outs today!! And...coffee, bourbon, raspberries, sugar, and ribs? I LOVE this recipe! Can't wait to give this one a go. The flavor of the sauce must be incredible. :)

  2. Congratulations to all of you on release day! I know it's special day for all of you. Enjoy it! I know I'm going to enjoy the books.

  3. Cleo your recipe looks delicious, even before 8 in the morning. :) This would be perfect for the weekend barbecues at the lake.

    Congrats on all the new releases. Thanks also for the mention of my review of FINGER LICKIN' DEAD (great book). I've got Julie and Wendy's books on my desk to read and can't wait. Both sound interesting.

    Thoughts in Progress

  4. Thanks for all the love, Cleo! And I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to use that sauce. Ice cream topping? Perhaps. :)

  5. Cleo, what a full and fun post. Love the cherries in the sauce. Love the tributes to all our pals. Might I copy you? (LOL, you know I will.) Wendy, a bourbon cherry i.c. sauce could be interesting!

    Savor the day, the reading, and the delicious flavors.


  6. Congrats and Happy Release Day, ladies!

  7. Cleo - THANK YOU for the great shout-outs! It's an exciting day! And I have to tell you, I'd all but given up making ribs because I just can't get it right. You're inspiring me to try again, now that I have a step by step guide. Thank you. The carnivores in my family thank you, too!!

    Congrats Elizabeth and Wendy!! So much great reading!

  8. Just bought all three new releases for my Nook. Now, which to read first??

  9. What a delicious day! Fabulous new books and this amazing recipe - it's going to be a keeper for special occasions for sure.

    Thank you, Cleo, for a gorgeous post as usual and also for your warm and generous support of our wonderful friends and their very entertaining books!

  10. Congratulations to everyone :) I have a lot more to add to my TBR list. Cleo your recipe looks wonderful. One of our favorites around here and will have to try this variation.

  11. My Kindle was smoking at midnight as it downloaded a lot of new "reads"!! Just in time as we are sweltering here in Mittenland today...our front porch thermometer hit a toasty roasty 96 at 4:00 p.m. today. So much for Spring ;-)!! But the hot temps just scream BBQ!!! I look forward to trying this out this weekend...I'm excited to use the raspberries in particular!!
    Congrats to all of you ladies...I foresee the Best Sellers list in all of your futures!!!

  12. Congratulations on all the new releases. What a fantastic summer for books!

    Cleo, I often use bourbon in barbecue, but I've never combined it with raspberries. Sounds wonderful and I'm definitely going to try it!

    ~ Krista

  13. Thanks to everyone for leaving such warm and wonderful comments today. Not that our party is over. Oh, no, no, no! The Release Day cheer for Riley, Julie, and Wendy will continue into the night -- and into the week! So feel free to leave your comment below mine, and...

    Read with joy!
    (Especially this week :))

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  14. My care package from Amazon came in yesterday with all three books. Will be a tough call to see which I read second (I already jumped into Lulu's BBQ shack first).

    Thanks for the shout out and hope everyone enjoyed their AMAZING day!


  15. What an exciting day yesterday was! My TBR pile looks like Christmas morning, and I can't wait to dive into them! I did buy some ribs and all the fixin's yesterday, though I didn't get to fix them yet. Cleo, these are the best and clearest, most been-there, most these-will-work directions I have ever seen for ribs.

    And Wendy, I SO agree - this sauce would taste scrumptious on ice cream!