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Cajun Spiced RibsOne of my good friends had a birthday not too long ago, and I offered to help with the food for the celebration.

“What would you like?” I asked.

“Ribs,” was the reply.


That’s the one thing I’ve never absolutely perfected. Ok, it’s ONE of the things I’ve never absolutely perfected. I debated picking them up at Country Tavern, a local barbecue  joint I love, but that felt like cheating.

One of my problems with ribs is that the meat is never fall-off-the-bone tender. Well, this recipe changed all of that.

I love the spice added to the sweet tanginess of the sauce. Baking them seemed to make all the difference as well.

This week, Hormel pork spareribs are buy one, get one for a penny! A PENNY! Run. Don’t walk.

Cajun Spiced Spareribs

1 (3 1/2- to 4-lb) rack of pork spareribs
1/4 cup Cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s
1 large lemon
1 cup ketchup
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, quartered
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup mild honey
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
5 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper

Pat ribs dry and rub Cajun seasoning all over them. Place in a large, sealable plastic bag; marinate, chilled, at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Put rack of ribs, bone side up, in roasting pan and pour 3 cups of water around ribs (water will not cover ribs). Bake, uncovered, basting with liquid and turning meat over every 30 minutes until meaty side of ribs is browned, 2 hours total.

Meanwhile, halve lemon and squeeze 1/4 cup juice into a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add lemon halves and stir in remaining ingredients. Bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until thickened (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Discard lemon halves.

Pour off and discard water from roasting pan, then coat ribs with 2 cups of sauce. Arrange ribs, meaty side up, in roasting pan; bake until ribs are tender and sauce is baked onto ribs, 40 to 50 minutes more. Serve ribs with remaining sauce.

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