This post is sponsored by Stubb’s Authentic Bar-B-Q. All opinions are my own.
If Mother’s Day is hearts and flowers and breakfast in bed, than Father’s Day is dominated by outdoor activities and grilling or barbecue. Thing is, in this house Scott is the pit master. Not me. I mean, I can grill — steak, chicken etc., but I’m lacking the fundamental gene required for those long, slow, carefully tended fires to produce the perfect smoke-kissed wonder that is real barbecue. But he wants ribs for Father’s Day and I don’t want him to have to cook his own dinner on this day. So I’m reverting to what I do know. A slow-steady heat, lots of time and some help from my friends at Stubb’s. These Easy Oven-Style Pork Spareribs will turn Scott (and you) into converts.
I’ve been working with Stubb’s for a while now, because I genuinely enjoy their seasonings and they make them the way I would! Stubbs authentic sauces, rubs and marinades get their bold flavors from real ingredients, with no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup.
For these ribs, I’m starting with their Steak Spice Rub. When it came to Bar-B-Q, Stubb would say, “It all starts with a good rub.” Stubb’s Steak Rub is a peppery blend of sea salt, garlic and ancho chile and it’s perfect for these ribs! For a 4-5 pound rack of spare ribs, I used the whole jar.
Sprinkle the mix onto both sides of the pork and rub it in well with your fingers. Then give it some time to soak in – at least two hours, or overnight.
After marinating, it’s time to cook. I actually got this method from one of my friends who used to work at a very popular restaurant, renowned for their ribs. They were known as “knife and fork” ribs, because you could really eat them with a knife and fork — the meat was so tender that it barely clung to the bone. Their mode d’emploi was in a low, slow oven, using stand up rib racks set over a steaming pan of apple juice. I achieve pretty much the same outcome with a broiler pan. Fill the bottom of the pan with apple juice, set the ribs on top and seal it tightly with aluminum foil so the steam won’t escape. If this feels like a cheat to you, so be it. I assure you, it doesn’t taste like one — but I’ve included instructions for finishing on the grill for those who want to add “an air of authenticity.”
While the ribs are cooking, make the finishing glaze. I start with Stubb’s Sticky Sweet Bar-B-Q Sauce: a thick, rich sauce loaded with brown sugar and molasses and I add a fresh peach. Just peel the fuzz from the peach, remove the pit and roughly chop the flesh. Then combine it with about half a jar of Stubb’s Sticky Sweet in a blender and puree. OMG. Peachy-Sweet! Normally I would add cayenne or another spice, but it’s already in the spice rub, so there’s no need to augment further.
When the ribs are done, brush them with sauce and stick them under the broiler until the sauce is nicely lacquered. Then slice between the ribs and serve. Scott was dubious at first — ribs in the oven? It’s an abomination! Then he tasted and chewed and reluctantly admitted that he had been replaced.
NEVER! But he did give me a great closing line, “It’s all the flavor — without the work!”
Easy Oven-Style Pork Spareribs
- 1 large rack of pork spareribs about 4-5 lbs
- 1 jar Stubb's "Steak" All-Natural Spice Rub
- 3 cups apple juice for each broiler pan*
For the sauce
- 1/2 jar Stubbs Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce
- 1 ripe peach
- Chopped green onions optional
- tin foil
- 1-2 broiler pans (slotted sheet pans fitted over a 1" deep rimmed pan*
Place ribs on a cutting board and trim away any excess fat and the silver skin. Sprinkle half of the rub over one side of the meat and press it in with your hands. Flip the ribs over, sprinkle with the remaining rub and press it in with your hands. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let the meat marinate for at least 2-4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 225°.
Cover the slotted portion of the broiler pan(s) with aluminum foil and use a sharp knife to poke slits in the foil where the natural slits are, using your fingers to pat any jagged edges flat. Fill the bottom portion of the broiler pan with 3 cups apple juice. (The apple juice flavors and keeps the pork moist). Top with the foil wrapped rack and place the ribs on top. Wrap additional aluminum foil over the ribs and pan to assure that no steam escapes. Place in the oven and bake for 3 hours.
Add the barbecue sauce to a blender. Peel and chop the peach, discarding the pit and add the chopped peach to the barbecue sauce. Blend until peach is completely pureed into the sauce. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
To Finish (The Broiler Method)
When the ribs are finished cooking remove them from the oven and turn the oven to broil.
Remove the tin foil from the top of the ribs and liberally brush them with the barbecue sauce, flip them and coat the other side with sauce. Return the ribs to the oven, uncovered and broil until they are well glazed and take on a little color, about 5-10 minutes.
To Finish (The Grilling Method)
When the ribs are almost finished cooking in the oven, heat up your gas grill to a medium to medium-high heat. Transfer the ribs to the grill and brush with barbecue sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until sauce starts to settle in, then flip them over and brush with additional sauce. Monitor the grill to avoid any flare ups. Flip the ribs 1-2 more times, brushing with additional sauce as needed until they are glazed and tawny.
Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut between the bones. Sprinkle with optional garnish and extra Bar-B-Q sauce if desired.
Recipe Notes*If your rack of ribs won't fit on one broiler pan, you can cut them in half and try to fit them that way, otherwise use two pans -- that's what I did.