Brad McDonald’s baby back ribs with peach BBQ sauce

The Mississippi-born chef rustles up a southern American classic

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus marinating and resting
  • Cooking time: 3 hours

Serves: 8 - 10


4 pork loin rack of ribs (about 2kg in total)



1 tbsp dried onions*

1 tbsp garlic granules

3 tbsp ground paprika

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp crushed black pepper

1⁄2 tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tbsp light brown soft sugar



1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely diced

4 ripe yellow peaches, skinned, flesh diced

530g tomato ketchup

40g tomato purée

360ml cider vinegar

60g yellow mustard

2 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp salt

450g light brown soft sugar

2 tsp cayenne pepper


1. Start with the BBQ rub. Crush the dried onions to a powder in a pestle and mortar, then mix with the remaining rub ingredients in a bowl to make a paste. Pull off and discard the silver skin (the thin, silvery membrane) from the back of the ribs, then rub all over with the paste; marinate for 2 hours.

2. I like to cook ribs on a smoker (see page 11) but they cook well in the oven, too. Preheat the oven to 110 ̊C, gas mark 1⁄4, and put a tray of hot water in the bottom. Put the ribs in a roasting tin and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour. Turn the ribs, cover the tin tightly with foil and cook for 2 hours more, until tender. Check them with a meat thermometer, placing the sensor between two ribs in the centre of the rack. I prefer ribs with a little bite, so take them out at 80 ̊C. For more tender ribs, continue cooking to 88 ̊C.

3. Meanwhile, make the peach BBQ sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and peaches and cook until broken down (about 10-15 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients and 240ml water, stir well, and simmer over a low-medium heat for 1 hour 30-45 minutes to a thick, sticky sauce.

4. When your ribs reach the desired tenderness, wrap in baking parchment and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. Serve warm with the peach BBQ sauce and slaw, if liked.