clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cajun Icon Isaac Toups Braises Ribs and Pickles Cucumbers in Hot Sauce

The NOLA chef’s recipe for dill pickles can be served alongside everything from burgers and charcuterie or simply eaten out of the jar

New Orleans chef Isaac Toups remembers the very first time he made pickles. He was young and with his dad, and they went with a double-dill (meaning brined twice) that called for brown sugar and hot sauce. Toups recalls his father proclaiming that he’d invented the recipe but, according to Toups — considered by many the chef at the forefront of a new generation of Cajun chefs — “Cajuns have a funny way with the truth.”

Origin story aside, this recipe for dill pickles are a staple at the Toups house, served alongside everything from burgers and charcuterie or simply eaten out of the jar. But for Toups, the best combo is pairing the sweet and spicy pickles with braised pork ribs, which get their own sweetness from honey and spiciness from hot sauce.

Toups is taking us into his home to demonstrate both recipes on Instagram Live, as part of our Eater at Home series. Check out his odes to Cajun cooking below and try them for yourself.

Beer and Tabasco-Braised Pork Ribs and Double-Dill Pickles

Makes 4 servings


2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
3 teaspoons smoked paprika
3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
4 ounces amber beer
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

Double-dill pickles:

1 gallon jar whole dill pickles
1 pound brown sugar
2 tablespoons Tabasco Sauce

Season both sides of the rack of ribs with salt, Aleppo pepper, paprika, and black pepper, seasoning the meat side a bit more than the bone side. Let rest for 20 minutes in a roasting pan. Once it’s rested, move the pan to the highest rack in your oven. Broil ribs for 5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees.

Take a large piece of aluminum foil and set the ribs on top. Create a boat-like shape that surrounds the ribs at the base. Pour beer, honey, and Tabasco directly over the ribs and wrap foil to cover the ribs completely, using another piece of foil if necessary.

Place ribs back in the roasting pan and bake for 1 hour. Remove ribs from the oven and de-foil. Pour any and all rib jus into a heatproof glass measuring cup or bowl and set aside. Skim the fat from the top of the jus. Cut the rack into 1 bone segments and add to a large bowl. Add jus and butter to the bowl and toss well. Let the ribs sit in the sauce for 2 minutes and then toss again before serving.

Remove the pickles and brine from the jar and set aside individually. Cut the pickles into ½-inch thick slices and place back in the jar.

In a large stockpot, combine the reserved brine, brown sugar, and Tabasco Sauce. Bring to a boil and stir. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, pour the hot liquid over the pickles directly in the pickle jar. Let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 24 hours. Note: They will keep refrigerated for several weeks. Serve alongside beer and Tabasco-braised ribs and enjoy!

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day