Tender, slow-cooking spare ribs require a certain amount of skill and experience. This recipe will help you get started.
- For the Ribs:
4 3-pound slabs pork spare ribs (also called St. Louis-style ribs) untrimmed
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups Neely's Barbecue Seasoning, plus more, as desired
- 4 cups Neely's Barbecue Sauce
For the Neely's Barbecue Seasoning:
1 1/2 cups paprika
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder
For the Neely's Barbecue Sauce:
2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon Neely's Barbecue Seasoning
FOR THE NEELY’S BARBECUE SEASONING:
Stir together the ingredients in a small bowl. Stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, this seasoning will last up to 6 months.
FOR THE NEELY’S BARBECUE SAUCE:
Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Reduce the temperature to very low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, cool, and use as needed. Stored in a tightly sealed container, this sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.
FOR THE RIBS:
Rinse the rib slabs in cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the slabs on a clean chopping board. Using your fingers, pull off the thick white membrane. Use a small knife to trim off the excess fat and meat. Using a sharp knife, trim off the brisket bone (or rib tip). Season both sides of the slab with salt and Neely's Barbecue Seasoning, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to a day in advance.
When you’re ready to cook the ribs, preheat the grill to 250 degrees F, preferably using a combination of hickory wood and charcoal. Place the slab on the grill away from (not directly over) the flame (using indirect heat). Cook the slab curl-side up for approximately 2 1/2 hours. Flip the slab over to finish the cooking, about 1 more hour, or until you get the full "bend" in the slab (see Tip).
For dry ribs, pull the ribs off the grill, and sprinkle more Neely's Barbecue Seasoning over the entire slab. Cut between the bones and serve. For wet ribs, pull the ribs off the grill, and pour Neely's Barbecue Sauce over the slab. Slice between the bones into individual portions, and serve.
Tip: When you’re ready to pull that first slab of ribs off the grill, try to lift them with your tongs. Your tongs should make contact with the ribs only about halfway down the slab. If the slab is flexible (it should bend to a 45-degree angle downward), that's a good indication that your ribs are ready. The meat should easily pull away from the bone.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf. All rights reserved.
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