My family loves barbecued spare ribs. They’re delicious, and easy to make. You wash and dry the ribs, put them in the oven for 2 hours, coat them with barbecue sauce, and put them back in the oven for 15 minutes or so.
I used to simply pop the ribs into the oven, but recently, I started brining the ribs before cooking them. The difference in flavor is amazing and really noticeable. Brining also helps make the ribs juicier. This is helpful when I buy lean, grass-fed organic pork, which doesn’t contain as much fat as regular supermarket pork.
I often use bottled barbecue sauce for convenience, but bottled sauce is full of sugar. Most brands have more sugar than a candy bar (read the labels). Even homemade barbecue sauce requires a hefty dose of brown sugar and molasses.
For this recipe, I made a white barbecue sauce out of mayonnaise, fresh lemons and fresh garlic. It’s not traditional “barbecue” sauce, but it’s still delicious. After two hours in the oven, you coat the ribs with it, put them back in the oven for 15 minutes, and they’re ready to eat.
A note about salt: If you haven’t read Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nasrat, you should. It’s an elucidating book about the elements essential for successful cooking. I learned from her book about the saltiness of different types of salt. For most cooking, I use Hain sea salt, which isn’t terribly “salty.” I also like Himalayan pink salt, which is a lot saltier. If I use Himalayan salt, I note it in the recipes. It’s important to be aware of how “salty” your particular brand of salt is, and to adjust the amounts of salt in recipes accordingly.
Brined Ribs with Lemon Garlic Barbeque Sauce
Tangy and delicious, lemon garlic barbecue sauce adds a less-sugary twist to barbecued spare ribs.
- 4 pounds pork ribs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Wash and dry the ribs.
Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut ribs in between bones to make single, meaty ribs.
In a bowl large enough to hold all the ribs, stir 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt into 2 cups filtered water.
Put the ribs into the bowl. Add more filtered water if needed to cover the ribs.
Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Don't brine them longer, or the ribs will be too salty.
While the ribs are brining, mix all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
Cover tightly and store in the fridge. (Makes about 1 1/2 cups.)
When ready to cook the ribs, preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Remove ribs from fridge, and drain but don't rinse.
Place ribs in a baking dish, and bake at 325 degrees F for 2 hours, turning half-way through.
Remove from oven, and coat ribs on all sides with lemon garlic barbeque sauce.
Return to oven for 15 minutes.
Brine the ribs in salted water for no more than two hours. Brine them too long, and they’ll get excessively salty.
Place the ribs in a single layer in roasting pans. Roast for 2 hours at 325 degrees F.
Fresh lemon zest adds extra lemon flavor to the barbecue sauce.
Add fresh lemon juice.
Stir in mayonnaise and seasonings.
Coconut sugar and stevia add sweetness without refined sugar.
Turn the ribs over after about an hour.
When the ribs are done, coat them on all sides with white barbecue sauce, and put them back in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the ribs from the oven and serve immediately.