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Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs {#PorkBucketList}

Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs are ultra tender and slathered with a sticky BBQ that gets caramelized over the grill’s flames.

Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs served at Butcher and the Boar restaurant

This dish is one that I find myself dreaming of, wishing I had just one or two more bones of its ultra tender pork, sticky from slatherings of BBQ sauce caramelized over the grill. My family savored this heaping platter of Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs at one of our favorite restaurants, Butcher & the Boar in Minneapolis. Our entire over-the-top pork meal was a gift from the National Pork Board as they helped me check off a couple items on my #PorkBucketList.

Pork Bucket list logo

Last month I shared with you my own #PorkBucketList and asked you to do the same. By sharing your #PorkBucketList, you can be entered to win $500 to check off a pork adventure from your own list. Check out this post for more info and my own #PorkBucketList, and go here to enter the giveaway. One very lucky reader is going to have some awesome fun with pork!

Butcher & the Boar restaurant

The National Pork Board surprised me by not only helping me to check off one item from my #PorkBucketList, but two! How incredibly fabulous is that?! When I first shared my #PorkBucketList, I checked off an item myself by recreating this Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioned. And then, with help from the National Pork Board, I was recently able to check off two more:

  • Take a class to learn more about charcuterie. And eat it while I’m learning about it!

A couple weeks ago, I spent a day with Chef Peter Botcher and his crew at Butcher & the Boar, a James Beard nominated award winning restaurant. Chef Peter was gracious in every way, showing me around the kitchen that produces some of the best pork dishes in the country. And I even got to don a white chef’s shirt, embroidered “Butcher & the Boar”, to help create their amazing cheddarwurst. It was one of the best days ever!

  • Share an over-the-top pork meal with my husband at Butcher & the Boar, one of our favorite Twin Cities restaurants.

And the very next day, I returned to Butcher & the Boar with my husband and our two daughters for a meal that we’ll never forget. Chef Peter and his crew completely spoiled us with course after course of inventive dishes of pork. Several times since that evening, our oldest daughter has asked when we can go back and do that again!

Butcher & the Boar - Chef Peter Botcher

Chef Peter, second from the left, is crazy creative in the kitchen and surrounded by an amazing team. From our welcome at the front door, to watching everyone hard at work in the open kitchen, to our attentive waiter, and beyond…our dining experience at Butcher & the Boar was outstanding.

family photo at Butcher & the Boar

We came eager. And we came hungry.

The girls had a little anxiety about being served dishes that they might not like. But we all agreed that we’d try at least one bite of everything we were served, even if it didn’t sound like something we thought we’d like. Because we’ve all been proven wrong in that department before. Our #PorkBucketList Menu for the evening surprised every one of us, in a good way. Trying new things continues to prove to our girls the countless good eats there are in this world.

Here is what Chef Peter and his crew served us that evening…

  • Amuse:  smoked cheddarwurst with caraway-mustard sauce
  • 1st course:  mini ham & cheese sandwich and tomato-raspberry gazpacho with jalapeno & mint
  • 2nd course:  bacon praline & wedge salad with blue cheese & ranch
  • 3rd course:  wild boar & pork head cheese paté with sambal aioli, pickled daikon & carrot, and sesame seeds
  • 4th course:  braised ham hock and sautéed scallops with sweet corn succotash and truffle-pork vinaigrette
  • 5th course:  crispy fried pigs tail and grilled halibut with roasted peach sauce and Thai basil
  • 6th course:  jerk baby back pork ribs AND pork tenderloin with cilantro BBQ sauce and lobster-taleggio mac & cheese
  • 7th course:  family style caramelized banana split with braised pineapple, glazed strawberries, and candied bacon & bacon brisee AND brown butter tart with fresh Michigan blueberries and crème fraîche ice cream

I’m not gonna lie. That was alot of food!

a collage of drinks served at

To get us started, Chef Peter’s bar staff crafted for Blake and me a couple bourbon cocktails, sweetened with maple syrup and orange, complete with bacon swizzle sticks. If this sounds like something you’d like to recreate for yourself, try my Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioned.

Then, later in the evening, Blake ordered a flight of bourbons. The previous time we visited, Blake had enjoyed the “Proof of Age” flight consisting of 8 and 9 year old bourbons. This time he left it up to our waiter to “surprise him”, as he knew he was in good hands at this restaurant known for its bourbon list. Assuredly, it all went down nice and easy.

And our girls, not to be deprived of a special beverage, wanted to know what kind of Root Beer they had to offer. Like so much of the food and drink menu at Butcher & the Boar, the Root Beer was local, too. Iron Horse, from Edina, Minnesota.

cheddarwurst and a mini ham and cheese sandwich

See that piece of cheddarwurst in the dish on the left? I helped make it the day before! It sat in a smoker overnight and was ready for us for our Friday night meal. Loaded with pockets of cheddar and luscious with pork and fat, it was killer.

We all adored the mini ham and cheese sandwich (pictured on the right) with its crisp buttery exterior. Our youngest daughter wished that she could just have a plate piled high with these little sandwiches!

a bacon wedge salad and pork head cheese

Hatti, our 12 year old who is always up for some eating adventure, was so excited for her first meal at Butcher & the Boar. While she was at school that day, we texted a few pig snout emoticons back and forth to each other, in anticipation of the pork meal ahead. That smile, seen while waiting to dig into the bacon praline and wedge salad, was one that never left her face that evening. And I hope you didn’t miss that about the bacon praline. Think about those two words together for just a bit. Yes, it’s every bit as wonderful as you could ever imagine it to be. Salty + sweet. Crisp + chewy + tender.

Now the dish pictured on the right is the one that really got all of us thinking. Wild boar and pork head cheese paté. As soon as the waiter stepped away from our table, Hatti asked, “It’s not really cheese, is it?”, knowing full well that this was going to be a stretch for her. But the plate was so pretty, as was the marbled paté itself, that she didn’t hesitate to lift a nibble to her mouth. And you know what? She loved it. She ate the whole thing! Blake said this was one of his favorite courses, mostly because it was so different than anything he’d had before.

pork hocks and pig tail

When the National Pork Board asked me if there was any specific pork dish I’d like to have prepared that night, all I could think of was pork hocks, because I hadn’t eaten them in decades. I also shared how much I love dishes where pork is combined with fish and seafood. So these two dishes were extra lovely for me. The left photo is of braised ham hock and sautéed scallops with sweet corn succotash and truffle-pork vinaigrette. It was beautiful. And the photo on the right is crispy fried pigs tail and grilled halibut with roasted peach sauce and Thai basil. Again, Hatti asked a question that she already knew the answer to. Yes, Sweetheart, that really is a pig’s tail on your plate. It was crispy and chewy, plus yummy spicy from BBQ sauce, per Hatti. This dish even convinced her that there are some good fish dishes out there.

the kitchen grill at Butcher & the Boar
pork tenderloin and Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs

Our table was directly in front of the grill, never with a dull moment. We had front row seats to all the kitchen action, and it kept us all entertained.
The sixth course, the main entrée, was really two main dishes. Chef Peter was generous, indeed. The dish on the left was probably my very favorite of the evening, the jerk baby back pork ribs. Chef Peter was extremely generous (have I mentioned that before?!) to offer up his recipe to me, and to you. You’ll find this recipe at the end of this post.

The “other” main entrée consisted of a gorgeous slice of pork tenderloin, cooked to pink and tender-juicy perfection, and served with a cilantro BBQ sauce. Nestled beside it was a creamy lobster and taleggio mac & cheese, quite awesome! Hatti says this was her favorite dish.

banana split and blueberry cobbler

By the time our desserts arrived, we were pretty much full. But we had to make room for that ginormous family-style banana split, picture-perfect in its long wide wooden bowl (pictured on the left, photo credit goes to Hatti). The halved bananas were sweet and caramelized, and cracked like the break-through of a crème brûlée’s top. With braised pineapple, glazed strawberries, and candied bacon & bacon brisee (basically, bacon pastry cookies), this banana split was the most amazing I’ve ever encountered.

The photo on the right shows the dessert I was hoping would be delivered to our table, a brown butter tart chock-full of fresh Michigan blueberries. And topped with the most incredible crème fraîche ice cream, dense and creamy and tangy delicious. I got a sneak peek of the blueberry tarts as Pastry Chef Rachel was preparing them the day before. It was on that same day that a bowl of crème fraîche ice cream was set before me as I received a lesson in making cheddarwurst. Kudos to you, Rachel. Beautifully done. Thank you for sending us off with such gorgeous sweetness.

Butcher & the Boar sign

And now, for the check-off of another item on my #PorkBucketList, a peek into the Butcher & the Boar kitchen, plus a lesson in creating cheddarwurst!

The day before our big meal at Butcher & the Boar, I was given a back stage kitchen pass to take in all the action. During those daytime hours is when all the prep work is done. The cutting, chopping, and slicing. The marinating, seasoning, and smoking. The must-take steps to achieve the level of extreme superiority in dining pleasure when the clock strikes five, when it’s time to welcome the meat hungry crowd that this place caters to.

a collage of dishes being prepared in the butcher & the boar kitchen

From the very start of our day together, it was extremely evident that Butcher & the Boar is committed to excellence. They rely on consistency and precision in all that they do, refusing to cut corners. Everything is made from scratch, using the highest quality of seasonal and regional ingredients available. And there’s one main goal = to make things that taste delicious.


Upper left:  Dicing pancetta, a pork product made in-house over two weeks.

Upper right:  Seasoning pork ribs.

Lower left:  Moving pork loins around in the smoker. They are first brined for three days, then smoked for three to four hours at 225° until an internal temperature of 140° is reached. Their smokers are fueled by a local Minnesota blend of oak, apple, and cherry woods, providing mild smoke with assertive background. Once smoked, the loins are cut into double cut chops, then grilled and finished with a seasonal sauce and garnish. This is one of the most popular entrées at Butcher & the Boar.

Lower right:  I couldn’t resist snapping a shot of these trays of simple jalapenos, halved and seeded, ready to be cold smoked. Then they’re off to headline a stuffed jalapeno appetizer, a Butcher & the Boar rendition of traditional ants on a log. This is one of the main reasons I love Butcher & the Boar so much. All. The. Smoke.

thin pretzel crackers

The crackers are irresistible at Butcher & the Boar. I’m not a person huge on pretzels, but those thin pretzel crackers (shown in the righthand photo) were some kind of awesome.

spicy walnut and fennel salami

It seemed like every time I turned around that day, Chef Peter had set out a new sampling of one of their creations for me to try. This was one of my favorites. A spicy walnut and fennel salami. Completely swoon worthy.

blueberry cobbler and crème fraîche ice cream

Besides all the savory items being created in the kitchen, there was plenty going on with the pastry team, too, in the name of sweets. How could I possibly not notice the gorgeous ruby red raspberry mixture on the stove top, consuming the better portion of a pan larger than any I own? Or the brown butter tarts that Pastry Chef Rachel piled high with sweet fresh Michigan blueberries? And that crème fraîche ice cream? I honestly think I could live off that specific ice cream alone, for the rest of my life.

an uncooked cheddarwurst

But. Pork was the real reason I was there. And this cheddarwurst is where I spent the majority of my time.

assembling cheddarwurst

Chef Peter (on the left) honed his love of butchery and charcuterie while working at the Fatty Calf in Napa Valley, the restaurant model he used for all of his smoking at Butcher & the Boar. Chef Peter is confident about what he does and he does it with a smile, happy to share what he knows if you’re interested enough to ask. He and Jeff (on the right) taught me the basics of making his famous cheddarwurst that afternoon.

This three day process starts out with Heritage Berkshire pork picnic meat, cubed, and then cured for 24 hours in a spice blend that gives the sausage its color, flavor, and firm texture. Then the cubes of seasoned pork, plus additional fat, are chilled to almost frozen and sent through the grinder. The meat and fat must be super cold or the fat will melt in the process, resulting in a dry sausage.

large blocks of cheddar cheese

The ground pork and fat are then transferred to a commercial size mixer, along with fresh chives and a whole lot of cheddar cheese. Much more cheese than the average cheddarwurst. The 1 year aged cheddar, sliced into 1/4″ cubes, comes from Widmer’s Cheese Cellars in Theresa, Wisconsin. I had the pleasure last fall to meet Joe Widmer, a third-generation cheese maker, and to witness his old fashioned and highly respected cheese making. His cheddars are amongst the very best. I couldn’t wait to taste this cheese-filled sausage!

cheddarwurst coming out of a sausage machine

Jeff showed me how to pack the stuffing machine with the cheddarwurst mixture, thread the casing onto the machine, and then turn the crank to press the mixture into the tubular casing. I even got to try my hand at it!

Then the sausage is pinched at even intervals and twisted to create individual links.

Butcher & the Boar packaged bratwurst

The links are separated with a kitchen shears and then lined up on pans, ready to be placed in the smoker overnight and then grilled for guests the following evening.

Butcher & the Boar smoked sausages are now available online and at Lunds and Byerly’s. Grab some now!

And then also grab this recipe from Chef Peter, for his Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs. I promise you, they’re amazing.

Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs served at Butcher and the Boar restaurant

Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs

prep time: 1 day
cook time: 2 hours
total time: 1 day 2 hours
Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs are ultra-tender and slathered with a sticky BBQ that gets caramelized over the grill's flames.
5 Stars (1 Review)


  • 3 racks baby back pork ribs
  • Salt and pepper

for the jerk marinade:

  • 2 T. allspice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 T. ground coriander
  • 4 scallions chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. tamarind agave or honey
  • ¼ c. water
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 habanero stem removed
  • juice from 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • fresh cilantro sprigs and slices of fresh lime optional garnish

for the BBQ sauce:

  • 2 T. butter
  • ½ c. finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 c. of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 2 tsp. Chinese 5 spice
  • c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 3 T. Tabasco to taste
  • juice from 1 lemon


  • for the jerk marinade: In a blender or food processor, blend all of the jerk marinade ingredients until relatively smooth.Season both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper and place in a large pan. Coat the ribs with the jerk marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 24 hours.Preheat oven to 325° and bake the ribs until tender, uncovered, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Then glaze the ribs heavily on both sides with the BBQ sauce. Finish the ribs on a grill over medium heat. Glaze multiple times with the BBQ sauce to develop deeper flavor and a caramelized char. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs and slices of fresh lime, if desired.Ribs can be cooked 3 days in advance and reheated.
  • for the BBQ sauce: In a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat, melt the butter and then sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add BBQ sauce and stir to combine. Add Chinese 5 spice, cilantro, Tabasco, and lemon juice, stirring to combine. Cook until thoroughly heated throughout. Add water if necessary to achieve the right texture. This can be prepared a day in advance.


Printed with permission from Chef Peter Botcher of Butcher & the Boar in Minneapolis, MN.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 280kcal Carbohydrates: 43g Protein: 3g Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 3g Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 12mg Sodium: 1156mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 31g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

For more pork recipe inspiration, visit the National Pork Board at PorkBeInspired.com for more than 1,900 pork recipes. And be sure to check out what everyone else is sharing at PorkBucketList.com. You can find the National Pork Board on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Disclaimer:  This blog post is sponsored by the National Pork Board. A very special thank you to Chef Peter Botcher and his entire crew for letting me be a part of their day in the kitchen, and for affording my family the experience of their incredible hospitality and food craft through a meal at Butcher & the Boar. All opinions are my own. 

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26 comments on “Jerk Baby Back Pork Ribs {#PorkBucketList}”

  1. What a great experience, and I love that #PorkBucketList. Shouldn’t we all have one. Killer rib recipe, one can never have enough ribs!

  2. Erin | The Law Student's Wife

    Every time I go back to Minneapolis, we try to make Butcher and Boar, but it still hasn’t happened! I think I’m adding eating their to my own #PorkBucketList :)

  3. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    I shouldn’t have read this while starving! Such an amazing experience and the food looks and sounds incredible!!

  4. What a seriously incredible experience! I love that you were able to enjoy it all with the girls – I’m sure it will be a family memory they will treasure in the years to come!

  5. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    We practically lived on that cheddarwurst this summer — SO good! And what an epic meal with your family! I’m sure the girls will remember it forever. :)

  6. What an amazing experience! I need a second #PorkBucketList to tackle charcuterie. Everything about your list has sounded fantastic.

  7. Heidi @foodiecrush

    I’ve yet to try cheddarwurst but you have totally inspired me to seek it out! Thanks for the links to get it. I hope you got to take some leftovers home, my word! What a feast you lucky duck!

  8. Oh my, I would love to have some of these ribs. My mouth is watering as I look at the picture. You did an amazing job on your blog story and photos too.

  9. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

    I love that you’re exposing your girls to new and different foods – such a great lesson!! Loving the menu and your ribs look to die for!!!

  10. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig

    Currently working on my own Pork Bucket List and now this restaurant will be on it…OMG that looks amazing!!!