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These are the real thing. People come from around the corner, around the city, and around the world to eat these ribs at Sylvia's. The secret? Tangy, not too sweet barbecue sauce and a special way of preparing the ribs that's described here.
- 3 1⁄2 lbs spareribs
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
- 2 -3 cups white wine vinegar
- 16 ounces Red Devil Hot Sauce
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 3 cups tomato puree
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 1 lemon, sliced
- To make the ribs easier to handle, cut each slab between the middle bones into 2 equal pieces.
- Rub the salt, black pepper, and red pepper into both sides of the ribs.
- Place the ribs in a deep baking dish, cover them, and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Pour the vinegar over the ribs and bake 1 1/2 hours.
- Rotate the ribs two or three times during baking and spoon some of the pan juices over them.
- Remove the ribs from the baking dish and place in a single layer on baking sheets.
- (Line the baking sheets with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.) Bake at 450 F for 1 hour.
- The ribs should be tender and well browned.
- This much can be done up to a day in advance. Cool the ribs, cover tightly, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for about 1 hour before continuing.
- To finish the ribs, preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Cut the slabs between the bones into individual ribs.
- Place the ribs in a baking dish large enough to hold them comfortably.
- Spoon enough of the barbecue sauce over them to coat lightly.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve with additional barbecue sauce on the side.
- BARBECUE SAUCE Ruth developed this recipe because she found most barbecue sauces too vinegary or bitter, and it's the secret to our popular ribs.
- Simple to prepare and absolutely delicious, once made and strained it keeps for quite a while, at least a month.
- Combine all the ingredients in a heavy pot and heat just till hot. Don't bring to a boil or the sauce will turn dark and become thin.
- Cool the sauce to room temperature, strain it, and store it in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator.