• For the chipotle spice paste:
• 4 chipotle chilies packed in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 Tbs. tomato paste
• 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
• 2 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
• 1 1/2 Tbs. sweet Spanish paprika
• 1 1/2 Tbs. ground cumin
• 1 1/2 Tbs. dried oregano
• 1 1/2 Tbs. dried thyme
• 1 tsp. ground cloves
• 2 tsp. coarse salt
• 3 slabs baby back pork ribs, about 6 lb. total
• 1 cup store-bought mild barbecue sauce
To prepare the spice paste, in a food processor, combine the chipotle chilies, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, paprika, cumin, oregano, thyme, cloves and salt. Pulse until a smooth paste forms.
Brush the paste over the ribs, coating them evenly on both sides. Cook the ribs now or, for a more intense flavor, cover them loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat an oven to 275°F.
If the ribs have been refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking. Place the ribs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, overlapping them slightly if needed. Roast, turning occasionally, until tender, about 2 hours. (The ribs can be prepared up to this point a day in advance, covered and refrigerated. Bring the ribs to room temperature before continuing.)
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Oil the grill rack and position it about 6 inches from the heat source. Brush the ribs with 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce. Grill the ribs, turning once, until heated through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the slabs to a cutting board and cut into 1-rib portions. Arrange the ribs on a platter, brush with the remaining 1/2 cup barbecue sauce and serve immediately.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Entertaining,
by George Dolese (Oxmoor House, 2004).