Saturday 5 December 2009

Sticky barbeque spare ribs

Like having a really good take-away that you happened to have cooked yourself.

Martin got me a lovely new cookbook for my birthday this year; Mrs. Beeton's Easy Entertaining. I was keen to get cracking on trying out some recipes, so I had a go at making these ribs for my sister and her family. They turned out incredibly good; really sticky and sweet and slightly sour all at once. I will definitely be making these again. They take a while to make, but are not very labour intensive so you can relax and have a glass of wine while they cook away in the oven. The spice mixture and sauce quantities in this recipe will be enough for about 8 ribs - double both quantities if you're making more than this to make sure you have enough.


- Pork spare ribs - 2 per person if they are big juicy ribs from the butcher

For the spice mixture:
- 6 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
- 1 tbsp paprika
- Salt and pepper

For the barbeque sauce:
- 7 fluid oz tomato juice
- 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 fresh red chilli, as finely choppped as you can manage


- Heat the oven to about 160 degrees celcius.
- Cut the ribs into individual portions (you can get the butcher to do this for you) and place them in a baking dish in a single layer.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the spice mixture and rub into the ribs.
- Meanwhile, make the barbeque sauce. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and add about 3 or 4 fluid oz water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until it starts to thicken.
- Pour the sauce over the ribs, coating them evenly, and put them in the oven.
- After 30 minutes, remove them from the oven and turn the heat up to 180. You will see that the barbeque sauce has thinned as the fat has melted out of the ribs. Pour the sauce carefully into a saucepan and return the ribs to the oven.
- Boil the sauce like mad for about five minutes, then turn it down and let it simmer until it turns into a nice sticky sauce.
- Get the ribs out of the oven again and dab the sticky sauce over the top of them.
- At this point you have two options: either put the oven up on full blast and put the ribs back in for 10 - 15 minutes until they start to char nicely, or put them until a hot grill for the same effect. Grilling would be preferable but we did them in the oven and it worked out fine.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.
- We served with a nice big pile of homemade chips, which were made very thusly: chop up some peeled white potatoes to the thickness/ size of your choosing (I like a fat chip, me) and toss the chips in a healthy glug of olive oil and paprika until they are all coated and glistening. The chips will take 30 - 40 minutes in a hot oven (about 190 or 200), depending on their thickness.

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