This recipe has a 3 stage process. I make no apology for the rather involved process, as the end result is really very good, better than any shop-bought ribs. Take your time, as this dish can take four hours to cook.
- 2 tbsp paprika, smoked is best I think
- 2 tsp freshly milled black pepper
- 4 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 3 tsp dried garlic powder
- 2 tsp English mustard powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 100 ml olive oil
- 250 ml cider vinegar
- 200 ml light beer such as lager
- 100 ml tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp dried garlic powder
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp freshly milled black pepper
- 2 racks (15 bones) pork back ribs
- 8 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp vinegar, any will do
- 2 tbsp sugar
- any rub that's left over
- Mix the spice rub, ingredients well together and store them in an airtight container. It will keep for 4 weeks.
- Mix all the basting sauce ingredients and leave to marinate for 30 minutes for the chilli to reconstitute.
- A couple of hours before you want to start cooking, remove the racks from the fridge.
- Turn over, and you will see a thin silvery membrane covering the inner bones. This has to be removed, or the ribs will be tough as old boots.
- Using a sharp knife, tease the fine membrane away from the tip of the knife; it will come away fairly easily. Then, using a kitchen towel to get a grip, pull away from the ribs, repeat the process with the other rack.
- Next, place the ribs into a baking tray, and sprinkle over half the rub, working well into the meat.
- Turn over and repeat the process until all the rub has been used up. Leave for 1-hour minimum; best overnight if possible.
- Any rub that is leftover keep and adds to the slather later.
Cooking the Ribs
- Heat the bbq to 300F 150C.
- Place the ribs on the bars using the indirect method of cooking.
- Add a small pan or tray of boiling water beside the meat.
- Cover the bbq and cook for 20 minutes.
- Brush over the basting sauce using a new medium paintbrush or pastry brush, then repeat every 20 minutes, taking care to be quick so not too much heat escapes.
- Keep topping up the boiling water.
- Keep an eye on the temperature. If the heat rises too much, the ribs will end up dry and tough.
- After 2 1/2 hours, check the ribs; the meat at the ends of the ribs will have shrunk away, a clear indicator that the meat is probably cooked.
- Try and pull apart. If they come apart with a little resistance, then they are cooked. If not, then leave for a further 30-45 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from the bbq, remove the pan of water, and then turn up the heat to full.
- Mix the slather well together and bring it to a boil.
- Brush each rack with the ketchup slather, lightly oil the bars with a little oil on a piece of kitchen towel.
- Place directly onto the hot, oiled bars and grill for a couple of minutes on each side to colour up nicely. Take care as they will burn.
- Serve with the rest of the slather sauce as a dip, large beer and plenty of bibs and serviettes.
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