Sticky Balsamic Ribs

Adapted from Gourmet magazine, July 2009

Serves 4-5

8 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup  packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper {or to taste}
4 racks baby back pork ribs
1 1/2 cups water {divided}
kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper

Add the rosemary, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar & the cayenne to a small mixing bowl.  Mince the garlic, add 1 teaspoon of salt to it & mash with the side of a chef knife.  Add it to the marinade, along with a 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper & mix all the ingredients together.  Rub evenly over the ribs & transfer to a storage container.  Marinate, chilled, for 8-24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Arrange the ribs in a large roasting pan & pour a 1/2 cup water into the bottom.  Cover tightly with foil & roast the ribs until the meat is very tender, about 1 3/4 hours.  Remove from the oven & transfer the ribs to a platter.
Add 1 cup of water to the pan & using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the brown bits.  Strain the liquid into a measuring cup, or gravy separator & skim off the fat.  Transfer to a skillet & add a 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar & 1/4 cup brown sugar.  Bring the mixture to a boil & simmer gently until reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.

Heat the grill.  Brush some glaze over both sides of the ribs & grill, turning occasionally, until the ribs are hot & grill marks appear, about 6 minutes.  Brush the ribs with some more glaze & serve.
Notes:  To make ahead, roast the ribs and make the glaze up to one day ahead of time.  Let them both cool to room temperature before wrapping and storing in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Let them both come up to room temperature before grilling.  As an alternative to grilling, these ribs can also be broiled about 4" from heat.