Baby Back Ribs with Green Beans and Pickled Berry Cornbread

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Enjoy this berry delicious twist on a southern classic at a poolside barbeque or dinner party.

Baby Back Ribs with Green Beans and Pickled Berry Cornbread


    For the rub:

  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • For the baby back ribs:

  • 2-3 Tbsp sambal oelek
  • 1 rack of baby back ribs, back membrane removed – this can be done by sliding a knife under the membrane and then using a paper towel in your hand to peel it off. If you’re unsure, you can google it!
  • For the blackberry gochuchang bbq sauce:

  • ½ white onion, small dice
  • 1 pint California Giant Blackberries
  • 1 pint California Giant Blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp gochuchang chili paste
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the pickled berries and jalapenos:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups California Giant Blueberries
  • 8-10 ea. California Giant Strawberries, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup sliced jalapenos (2-3 jalapenos)
  • For the pickled berry cornbread:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups cornmeal (fine ground)
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour with xantham gum (if flour doesn’t have xantham gum, add 1 tsp xantham gum)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 ½ cups pickled berries (recipe above)
  • Optional: (3 Tbsp regular or pickled sliced jalapenos)
  • For the green beans with salt pork:

  • 10 oz. salt pork, cut into 1/8” strips
  • ½ ea. white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 ½ lbs. French trimmed green beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • For baby back ribs:

      • Preheat smoker to 225F. These ribs were smoked with oak wood but other woods can be used or a blend of others as well.
      • Slather both sides of the ribs with sambal oelek, starting with the top side and finishing with the bottom side facing up, then liberally season with spice rub blend, finishing with the top side up.
      • Place ribs in smoker and cook, unwrapped for 3 hours. Spritz with a combination of apple cider vinegar and water once an hour for the first 3 hours.
      • After 3 hours, spritz the ribs and wrap tightly in foil. Place them back on the smoker for another 2 hours.
      • After 2 hours, unwrap the rib and brush with bbq sauce. Return to the smoker for another hour, wrapped.
      • After the final hour, unwrap ribs, tent with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Cut ribs to serve.
  • For black and blueberry gochuchang bbq sauce:

      • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
      • Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
      • Allow mixture to cool slightly, blend and strain. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  • For pickled berries and jalapenos:

      • Bring sugar, vinegar, peppercorns and mustard seeds to a boil to dissolve sugar.
      • Add cold water and allow to cool.
      • Pour mixture over fruit and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
  • For pickled berry cornbread:

      • Preheat oven to 375F
      • Combine buttermilk in baking soda in measuring cup together.
      • In a large mixing bowl, add sugar to melted butter and use whisk to mix well.
      • Add eggs to mixture and mix well to combine. Add buttermilk/ baking soda to mixture.
      • In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, flour and salt to combine.
      • Add dry ingredients to wet and whisk together to combine until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, don’t overmix.
      • Add scallions and 1 cup of pickled berries (make sure to get some of the jalapenos in there!) to mixture and stir to incorporate throughout. If using additional peppers, add them now.
      • Pour the mixture into a 9”x13” greased pan. Add the remaining ½ cup of pickled berries to the top of the batter, scattering them evenly.
      • Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick pulls clean from the center and the cornbread isn’t jiggly. It should bounce back slightly if pushed down on.
      • Allow to cool at room temp.
  • For green beans with salt pork:

      • In a large sauté pan over low heat, add salt pork and cook slowly, rendering the fat (about 30 minutes). Make sure to watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.
      • Once the pork has turned somewhat golden brown, remove from pan and reserve 1 Tbsp fat. Turn heat up to medium.
      • Add onions and cook for 7-8 minutes, until lightly caramelized.
      • In a pot of boiling salted water, blanch the green beans for 3-4 minutes until bright green and transfer immediately to pan with onions. Add salt pork back to pan.
      • Add garlic, season with salt and pepper (be cautious with the salt on this one!)
  • Final:

    Serve this meal family style! Serve ribs with additional bbq sauce if desired. Enjoy!
Baby Back Ribs with Green Beans and Pickled Berry Cornbread

Recipe Creator

Chef Sam Blackburn

Chef Sam Blackburn

Sam Blackburn CEC, CCA, CDM / CFPP works for the Healthcare Operational Excellence Team for Sodexo North America where he gets to travel the country assisting in Culinary Operational Needs at various healthcare facilities. Influenced by his great grandmother who was an excellent cook, he knew by age 15 that he wanted to be a chef and loves to try new things in the kitchen. With over 16 years of experience, he relishes the opportunity to be able to really dig into the ever-changing landscape of the culinary scene right now. The most important thing to Chef Sam is the continual quest to learn something new every day.

Follow your berries to the farm.

Locate the 16-Digit Trace code.​ Enter the trace back code from your berries to learn about where they were grown. Too bad we can’t deliver the fresh fragrance, too!