Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pork Spareribs with BBQ Rub #2

So I know I've posted ribs before, but these are different. The last time, they were baby back ribs, which are smaller, more tender, and a little less juicy than spareribs. Additionally, spareribs have a much higher meat/bone ratio and a bit more fat, making them more succulent and chewy as you eat them. Besides the difference in meat, this rub is sweet/savory - no heat; I think this lets the flavor of the pork shine though more. One word of warning about this recipe: the sauce is tangy! If you like a sweeter sauce, add ¼ cup brown sugar, but I don't recommend it ;)

Rub Ingredients
This makes more than enough rub for one large rack of ribs, but not enough for two, so double it if you're serving more than 4 people.
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1½ tablespoons Old Bay seasoning (a seafood seasoning, but you could use creole seasoning or chili powder instead)
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
Sauce Ingredients
This definitely makes enough for two racks of ribs
  • one 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup 
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Rinse and pat dry one or two racks of pork spareribs. Lay the ribs on a large piece of aluminum foil (one piece per slab). Liberally apply rub to both sides of the ribs and pat on to adhere. Lay the ribs meaty side down on the foil and wrap tightly. Place the rib packets on a sheet pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but 8-16 would be best. Discard the foil and smoke the ribs low and slow for 2-4 hours (6 if you really like 'em smoky), meat side down for the first hour, then meat side up for the rest.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Meanwhile mix all sauce ingredients together and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Get new sheets of aluminum foil. Put the smoked ribs on the foil and start to fold up the sides so the sauce can be poured on. Pour on enough sauce to thoroughly cover the ribs, but not to submerge them. Seal the rib packet and cook in the oven for another 1½ - 2 hours on a sheet pan.

Combine any leftover sauce and all the liquid from the packets in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until thickened. Keep the ribs wrapped in foil while the sauce simmers. Rest the ribs for a total of 15-20 minutes before cutting into individual pieces and serving with sauce on the side.

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