Thursday, May 8, 2008

Recipes from Mom: Oven-Roasted Spare Ribs

On a recent trip I took home, I went through the oodles and boxes and swamps and piles and mountains and stacks and days of recipes collected over the last 30 years by my mom and dad. I came away with a couple good ones to try. This particular recipe was actually collected by my father sometime in the last seven years.

Four tablespoons sweet paprika
Two tablespoons chili powder
Two tablespoons ground cumin
Two tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
Two tablespoons salt
One tablespoon dried oregano
One tablespoon black pepper
One tablespoon white pepper
One tablespoon sugar
Two teaspoons cayenne pepper

Two full racks of spareribs (about six pounds total)
About two cups of barbecue sauce, plus more for serving.

Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix together thoroughly. Trim any excess fat from the ribs and discard. Rub the rub on both sides of the ribs and let stand at room temperature for an hour. (For more flavor, rub the ribs, wrap them in a double layer of plastic wrap, and let them sit in the fridge overnight.)

About five hours before you want to serve the ribs, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 300F. Place the ribs, meatier side up, on a heavy rack set on a baking sheet with a rim. Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil. Roast for one hour, remove the foil, and return to the oven. Roast for another hour, then brush the meaty side liberally with barbecue sauce. Cook for another hour and a half, or until the meat has separated from the bone.

Remove the ribs from the oven and wrap each slab completely in foil. Put the ribs in a brown paper bag and seal it tightly. Allow to rest at room temperature for an hour.

Unwrap the ribs, cut between the bones, and serve immediately with barbecue sauce.

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