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Pork Spareribs

Pork Spareribs and Coleslaw

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Serves 6 to 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several sources.

I started this recipe from a request for ribs. It led to the usual research I do for a recipe. The possibilities among rubs and sauces is almost endless. I wanted a barbecue sauce in which the predominant flavor would not be ketchup and I wanted a rub that wouldn’t be too spicy, allowing me to taste the meat. I decided to make my own.


For the Rub (makes enough for several racks of ribs):
½ cup (60g) paprika
¼ cup (50g) salt
¼ cup (40g) celery salt
½ cup packed (90g) brown sugar (any color)
½ cup (80g) garlic powder (granulated garlic)
½ tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
½ tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground mustard (Coleman’s mustard powder)
For the Barbecue Sauce:
1 cup (237ml) apple cider vinegar
1 cup (237ml) bourbon
3 to 4 cloves garlic; minced
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
3 ounces (85g) tomato paste (half a 6–ounce can)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ cup packed (45g) brown sugar (any color)
1 teaspoon Wright’s Liquid Smoke (hickory or mesquite)
Other possibilities can include ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, etc.—your choice
For the Spareribs:
2 racks (about 3 pounds/1.4kg each) of pork spareribs
1 bottle (1½ cups/12 fluid ounces/355ml) beer


To Make the Rub:

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Store in an air-tight jar until needed.

To Make the Barbecue Sauce:

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce the temperature to low and simmer, stirring often, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool, then transfer to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate until needed. Can be made in advance.

To Prepare the Spareribs:

Using a knife, separate the silver skin from the bone side of the ribs. Loosen a corner and then grip with a paper towel. Tear away from the ribs and discard.

Coat the ribs with the spice rub and gently rub into the meat. For a spicy flavor, use plenty of rub. For a delicate flavor that won’t overpower the flavor of the pork, use less.

Wrap the meat in plastic and place on a baking sheet (to catch drips). Store in the refrigerator overnight.

To Roast the Spareribs:

Heat the oven to 250°F (121°C).

Remove the plastic wrap and place the racks of ribs in a deep sheet pan or a roasting pan. Add ½ to ¾ of the bottle of beer. Cover the pan well with aluminum foil. Roast 2 to 2½ hours until tender and the meat pulls back from the ends of the bones. Remove from the oven and garnish with barbecue sauce. Heat the oven broiler (or transfer to a grill). The remaining sauce can be placed in a bowl for garnishing at the table.

Place the racks under the boiler 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce bubbles and begins to brown.

Remove from the broiler (or grill) and section into serving-sized pieces. Plate with a generous serving of coleslaw and any other vegetables, such as corn on the cob, you prefer.