Rib of the Week: Cherry-Port Glazed Ribs Studded with Bacon

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OK. I cook ribs so often that I’ve decided to make it official. Welcome to The Hungry Mouse’s Rib of the Week feature. I’ve gone back and re-tagged my other rib recipes, so they’re all in one place.

Ribs: not just for the barbecue

A lot of folks I know love ribs, but only remember them during the summer, when they’re barbecuing.

Now, while I love barbecued ribs (oh, how I love them!), there are a lot of other fabulous ways to prepare them.

Inside. In the oven. All year round.

It’s cheesy but true: If you get a little creative with ingredients, the possibilities really are kind of endless.

Cherry-Port Glazed Ribs Studded with Bacon: Cherries, port, and bacon…oh my!

For these ribs, I made a quick glaze with thick cherry preserves, port wine, garlic, and a little sage. After I painted it on the ribs, I dotted them with diced bacon, a little more glaze, then roasted them for about an hour.

When they came out of the oven, the bacon was dark and crisp, and the preserves had melted together with the bacon fat into a sumptuous, smokey crust. They’re jammy and wonderful, and the perfect thing to hunker down with on a cold winter night.

Serve them with earthy sides like roasted sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts and a salad dressed with raspberry vinaigrette and maybe a little goat cheese.

Cherry-Port Glazed Ribs Studded with Bacon: A note on ingredients

For the cherry preserves, I really like Bonne Maman brand. They’re made in France, and don’t have any artificial flavors or preservatives. The flavor of the fruit is just great.

I like tawny port for dishes like this. It’s sweet and almost raisin-y. I used some of the Dow’s 10 Year Tawny Port that a friend brought over the other night.

Cherry-Port Glazed Ribs Studded with Bacon

5 beef back ribs (about 2 1/4 lbs.)
3 or 4 slices of thick-cut bacon
3/4 cup cherry preserves
2 Tbls. tawny port
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder

Serves about 2 as a main course, or 3-5 as an appetizer.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and/or parchment paper.

Prep your meats
Grab the ribs from the fridge.

Lay them out on your prepared sheet pan.

Set the ribs aside to knock the chill off them while you deal with the bacon and whip together the glaze.

Get your bacon and dice it up well. Set it aside. You’ll need it in a minute or two.

Cherry-Port Glazed Ribs Studded with Bacon: Make the glaze

Put your cherry preserves in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the port to the preserves in the bowl.

Whisk the port and preserves together with a fork to combine.

To the bowl, add the ground sage, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Whisk again to combine well. Your finished glaze should look about like this:

Cherry-Port Glazed Ribs Studded with Bacon: Glaze your ribs

With a pastry brush, paint each rib with the glaze, picking each up to get all sides.

Normally, I’m a big fan of putting marinade or glaze in a zip-top bag, adding my meat, sealing the bag, and shaking it to coat.

That said, I like to apply this glaze with a brush, because the glaze has chunks of fruit as well as liquid. The brush gives me more control, so I can be sure that each rib has plenty of actual fruit on it.

When your ribs are glazed, they should look about like this:

Cherry-Port Glazed Ribs Studded with Bacon: Dot the ribs with bacon

Get your diced bacon. Grab a few pieces and start to top your ribs.

Try to distribute the bacon evenly, and in one layer.

You may or may not use all the bacon, depending on how large your ribs are.

When you’re done, your ribs should look about like this:

Dab the bacon on each rib with a little more glaze. Do this with a light hand, so you don’t pull all the bacon off.

When you’re done, they’re ready to go into the oven.

Roast the ribs in your preheated, 350 degree oven for about an hour.

They’re done when the meat has developed a handsome red-brown crust, the bacon is crisp, and the meat comes away easily from the bone when pulled at with a fork.

They should look about like this:

Serve and enjoy!

Copyright 2008 The Hungry Mouse�/Jessica B. Konopa. All rights reserved.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. wow! Those ribs look fantastic!!! I was wondering what to do with the bottle of W & J Graham's Tawny Port I received the other day, and I think you have just given me some food for thought (pardon the pun!). I also happen to have a couple of rib strips in the freezer... :-)