For the longest time, I struggled with cooking spare ribs. Mine always turned out too tough. I tried roasting them, steaming them, grilling them, slow-cooking them and a combination of all of the above. I was never very satisfied with the results.
Then I tried this recipe, which calls for baking them slowly, covered tightly with foil, so you get a little baking action, a little steaming action. What first attracted me to this recipe, however, wasn’t the baking, it was the balsamic vinegar in the sauce – my favorite. I added the liquid smoke because I did hate to lose the flavor of being cooked on the grill.
Balsamic Glazed Baked Spare Ribs
1 (4 lb) slab of Hormel pork spareribs1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 large lemons)
1 cup bottled barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbs liquid smoke
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Select a large baking pan to fit ribs in one layer. Line with heavy-duty foil. Place baking rack inside lined pan to keep ribs from resting on the bottom of the pan.
Remove the thin membrane from the back side of the ribs if not already done by the butcher. Sprinkle both sides of the spareribs with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place seasoned ribs on the rack in the baking pan.
Prepare sauce by combining lemon juice, bottled barbecue sauce, ketchup, liquid smoke , balsamic vinegar and hot sauce in a bowl. Stir vigorously until combined.
Pour half of sauce into a separate container and set aside. Drizzle remaining sauce over the top of the ribs, covering all exposed areas.
Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty foil. Bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until tender.
Serve spareribs with reserved barbecue sauce. Optional: You can char the ribs on the grill or under the broiler before serving if you wish.