Perfect Sweet & Spicy Ribs

This is a recipe that both Karen and Don have perfected over the years. Both of us had been handed down virtually similar rib recipes from our mothers, so we started from there and adapted over time. This iteration hasn’t been changed in about two years, though we believe there is always room for improvement, especially when ribs are involved. Let us know if you have a suggestion or a better way.

Perfect Sweet & Spicy Ribs

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons ponzu sauce or soy sauce
1 teaspoon sambal oelek or sriracha
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
salt & pepper
1 rack of pork back or side ribs

In a large bowl, mix all marinade ingredients. Cut ribs into two or three rib pieces and add to bowl. Use your hands to coat all pieces thoroughly; place in refrigerator for at least two hours, if possible. You can use a Ziploc bag if you prefer, and the two hour marinade is definitely worth it, flavour-wise, but not essential if you don’t have time.

Turn oven to 275°. Place a wire cooling rack inside a casserole dish (to let all the fat drip off of the ribs) and arrange ribs on wire rack. Rinse the marinade bowl with about 1/2 cup water and pour into the casserole dish. Cover ribs with tin foil (use two sheets to create a perfect seal, if needed—you want to trap the steam). Bake for 1 1/2—2 hours.

In last ten minutes of baking, make the sauce:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (2 or 3 hearty squeezes from the bottle) ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
few dashes Liquid Smoke (omit if BBQing)

Heat oil in small saucepan. Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant but not brown. Add brown sugar and stir until melted and bubbly, adding extra oil in small squirts if the mixture seems too dry. Once the sugar is melted add the ketchup—I never actually measure the ketchup, I just add in in 2-3 hefty squirts from the bottle, being sure to mix the ketchup and the sugar well before each squirt. I’ve found that if I add it all at once the sugar will sometimes seize up and leave crystals in your sauce. Once all the ketchup is incorporated, add the soy sauce, ginger, cayenne and Liquid Smoke.

Remove the ribs from the oven and turn oven to broil. Using a basting brush, coat each piece and return to baking dish. Broil until tops are bubbly and slightly blackened. Alternately, after coating, simply toss on the barbecue until sticky and delicious.


Perfect Sweet & Spicy Ribs — 1 Comment

  1. As Wayne is a huge rib fan I am going to attempt these next weekend. The recipe looks divine but I’ll know success if there appears a warm glow on Wayne’s face as he eats them!

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