Pork Ribs with Blood Orange Barbecue Sauce

I like making these ribs in the summer months for family barbecues. The brightness and sweetness of the blood orange really bring something new to a classic southern meal. It’s a great change from regular barbecue sauce, and everyone always wants the recipe!  — John Patterson

pork ribs 2

Pork Ribs with Blood Orange Barbecue Sauce

By Chef John Patterson

Serves: 4

Prep time: 8 hours

Cook time: 4 hours

Cool time: None


Rib Rub:
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • One 3 ½ to 4-pound slab of ribs, baby back or St. Louis style
Blood Orange Barbecue Sauce:
  • 2 ½ cups ketchup
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup blood orange juice or blood orange puree
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup Creole mustard
  • ½ cup local honey
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne


Combine all ingredients for the rib rub in a bowl. Rub both sides of the slab of ribs with the rub, wrap in plastic, and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator.

To prepare the barbecue sauce, place all ingredients for the sauce in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Then add the mixture to a stock pot and cook uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it cooks. The sauce can be prepared while the ribs are cooking.

Preheat grill to 225°F. Wrap ribs in foil and place on grill for 3 hours. After 3 hours has passed, unwrap the foil, baste with sauce, and continue to cook for 1 additional hour. To serve, cut into 4 portions per slab and serve with extra sauce for dipping.

Note: If you end up with more rib rub or barbecue sauce than is needed for this recipe, both can be retained for later use. Leftover rub can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry for one year, and leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to 30 days.