If you’re like me and have never tried ribs before, and, also like me, perhaps a bit intimidated by the vague feeling that you have to smoke them for hours and they still might come out tough, this is the recipe for you!
I rolled up my sleeves one rainy Saturday afternoon and pulled together this ribs recipe when the Grill-Meister was out playing dominos with his friends. Then I surprised him with them when he got home. Score!
Succulent and fall-off-the-bone-tender with just the right balance of spicy-sweet and piquant, these ribs take their ‘cue (pun intended!) from the spicy rub they get before baking and a last-minute swab of homemade sauce before a quick char on the grill.
Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cup coarse salt
- 2 tbsp cup ancho or chipotle chilé powder (use paprika if you don’t like it spicy)
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tbsp black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 racks St. Louis style pork spareribs, 2 1/2 – 3 lbs each
Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup chopped chipotle peppers and sauce
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup catsup
- 2 tbsp of the spice rub
Preheat oven to 300. In a small mixing bowl, combine the spice rub ingredients. Set aside 2 tbsp of the spice rub to use in the sauce, and then rub the ribs generously with the mixture.
Wrap each rack of ribs in heavy duty foil, sealing completely. Place seam side up on a pan or cookie sheet with a decent-sized lip. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the barbecue sauce by putting all ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan, heating to a boil and then reducing to a simmer. Cook at a simmer until reduced and thickened.
When the ribs have 20 minutes left to bake, preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat. When 2 1/2 hours have elapsed, remove the ribs from the oven and carefully undo the foil around the ribs, being cautious about steam and very hot pan juice. Place the ribs on a different cookie sheet or platter and reserve the pan juice for another use (I like to use it to make stock with the rib bones).
Take the ribs outside to your barbecue, slather the sauce on one side and place on the grill, sauce side down. You may have to be very gentle with the ribs, because they will be very tender and may want to fall apart. Slather the sauce again on the top side just after you place the ribs on the grill. Sear on each side for 4-5 minutes until there’s a nice char, then remove them. Place on a cutting board and cut between the bones. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
These ribs are so good with just a quick slaw. I created a complementary Chipotle-Fennel Slaw when I made the ribs a couple of weeks ago and will publish that recipe soon. And until then, here’s a Pepper Jelly Slaw.
Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook