Cut the rib slabs in half, leaving 6 to 8 ribs per section. In a large roasting pan, arrange the ribs evenly, then add the water. Cover the pan tightly with a lid or foil to prevent steam from escaping. Bake for 3 hours.
About 2 hours into the baking time, make the sauce. In a large saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Prepare the coals in a barbecue. Remove the ribs from the roasting pan. Discard the water.
Cover the ribs with the sauce, saving about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce for later use at the table. Grill the ribs on the barbecue for about 5 minutes per side, or until slightly charred.
Serve with the remaining sauce and lots of paper towels or moist towelettes.
***ALTERNATE SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS: Place the ribs in a slow cooker, pouring the sauce over. Let cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours until the meat is very tender.