My favorite sticky, ooey, falling apart spareribs, also included is a recipe for my famous homemade sauce!
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lime, zest of
- 1 lime, juice of
- 1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 dash cayenne
- salt and pepper
- 1⁄4 cup minced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup paprika
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons salt (I prefer kosher)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 -2 teaspoon cayenne
- 3 pork spare rib racks (3 pounds or less each)
- 1 can lager beer (optional)
- At least the night before you make the ribs, if not earlier, combine the BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepan.
- Simmer over medium low heat for 1/2 an hour.
- Chill overnight (keeps several months in the refrigerator).
- The night before you make the ribs, combine the spice rub ingredients in a bowl, and mix together well.
- Pat about 1/3 of the total spice rub on the top and bottom of the rib slabs.
- Allow to sit, refrigerated, overnight.
- The next day, about 5 hours before dinner, take the ribs out of the fridge, sprinkle top and bottom with about half of the remaining spice rub.
- Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Take BBQ sauce out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
- Heat oven to 200- 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After the ribs sit at room temperature, put them in the oven on a large sheet tray, or indeed several large sheet trays if needed.
- Bake 4 hours.
- If the ribs start to look dry, baste them with a little beer.
- About halfway through cooking time, sprinkle ribs with the rest of the spice rub.
- about 45 minutes before ribs are done, brush with a fairly liberal amount of the BBQ sauce.
- Once ribs are done, baste them with more sauce, if you like.
- Let ribs sit 10 minutes before cutting into individual ribs, or 1/2 slabs, as I prefer.
- Serve with plenty of extra sauce on the side, and plenty of napkins.
I have used this recipe for both the sauce and the rub many times now. Initially I followed the ingredients exactly and found the flavors work very well together. Preparation is straightforward and easy. I did get some negative comments on the lime in the sauce and have since left that out. I now tweak both the rub and the sauce to match my tastes IE Chipotle in place of Cayenne in both, I grate the onion used in the sauce to release the juices etc.
Based on reviews I only applied the rub once the night before and agree that that is a sufficient amount to do the job well. Also note, Don't forget to prep the racks of ribs by removing the membrane on the bone side prior to applying the rub. If you forget to get the rub on the night before it is not a show stopper but Do try to give it at least an hour for the salt in the rub to do it's osmosis thing.
This cooking method works just fine but remember, as with any long slow cooking method, the times are just a guideline. A good indicator for ribs is when 1/4 of an inch of the bone ends are exposed they should be pretty much done and ready for finishing. In my opinion and based on experience, if they are "falling off the bone" they are overcooked, if the bone ends are not exposed by at least a quarter inch they are undercooked. I prefer to finish my ribs on the grill but they finish just fine in the oven.
Also keep in mind this recipe calls for Spare Ribs. Baby Backs and "Southern Style" ribs will require different cooking times. For baby backs I get great results with this rub and sauce using the cooking method and time guideline in Foolproof Baby Back Ribs.
I have used both the sauce and the rub on chicken and beef with good results. I also use the rub when making pulled pork in my crock pot.
Bottom line is, You can't go wrong with this recipe as is and it is easily tweakable to suite your own tastes. I always have an ample supply of the rub on hand in my pantry, and when I make the sauce it is always a double or triple batch. Two tips, Line the baking sheets with foil or parchment (unless you enjoy scrubbing) and I use racks to keep the ribs off the bottom of the pans.
Hands down, the BEST ribs I've ever made, The rub and the sauce compliment each other perfectly. I followed the recipe exactly except I used smoked paprika because that's all I had. Next time I'm going to finish them on the grill then decide which way to do it the time after that. Delicious!
Should be more stars!! Additional stars for flexibillaty. Pork Ribs: Followed instructions for rub and sauce. Baked in the oven till tender with the rub. Then grilled to heat with the sauce. "Oh so good". "Great rub" and "Super sauce". Perfect Ribs. Chicken Brests: I had rub left over and used it for the brests. Grilled them with the sauce. Juicy and delicious. Shrimp: With the left-over sauce. Sprayed the shrimp with Olive Oil, seasoned with pepper, garlic powder & onion powder. Grilled with the last of the sauce. "Oh My How Good"!! Rub and Sauce have been added to my keepers. Thank you from the "bottom of my heart". DH and I can't wait for the next family "do".