Slow-cooked spare ribs and BBQ sauce - DizzleSky
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Slow-cooked spare ribs and BBQ sauce

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2 kg spare ribs for 4 adults


  • 300 ml tomato passata
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs orange juice
  • 2 tbs rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbs white wine
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 5 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

Poaching water

  • 8 black peppercorns
  • Bouillon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Handful of rosemary and thyme (whole)
  • Water

BBQ sauce

  • 300 ml poaching liquid
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp bouillon


Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 4- 6 hrs
Total time: 6 hrs 20 mins

Slow-cooked spare ribs with BBQ sauce

Ribs… my husband’s favourite food, so always alot of pressure to get them right. Not normally a fussy man, he is particular on the texture (they have to melt in the mouth), the marinade (has to be sticky but not too sweet) and the sauce (has to be runny BBQ – he’d rather go from a bottle but that’s just not going to happen!). According to him, my Mum (having lived in America) still makes the best ones! These are a version of hers… poached rather than roasted and in the oven for longer. This gives you a natural liquid for the sauce and helps the meat fall off the bone.


Heat the oven to 150. Place the ribs in a large roasting tray and cover with water. Add 8 peppercorns, sprinkle of bouillon, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme, and cover with the entire tin with aluminium foil. Cook for 2-3 hours for Baby Back ribs (see below) and 3-5 hours for Spare ribs, depending on how many you have and the size of the ribs. Most importantly, you will know they are done when the meat starts to come away easily from the bone.

Blitz up all the the marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Once the ribs are cooked, take them out (reserving 300 ml of the poaching liquid) and pat them dry with kitchen roll. Place them in a large ceramic dish or roasting tray. Pour over the marinade and coat them well, turning them and massaging the marinade well into the meat. Marinade for 2-24 hours (the longer the better but any time will add flavour).

Heat up the bbq or grill and cook for 25 – 30 mins until caramelised. Turn while they are cooking for an even taste.

To make the sauce, remove the herbs and peppercorns from the reserved poaching water. Add all the sauce ingredients and boil rapidly until it has reduced by a third. Taste and season (it might need salt or vinegar depending on how strong the poaching water is).

Serve with DizzleSlaw, roasted sweet potato fries and lashings of (hot or cold) BBQ sauce.


Spare ribs come from the belly of the pig, and like cooking pork belly, the meat takes time to tenderize as the fat renders down, making the meat melt in your mouth. Another type of popular cut is the Baby Back pork rib. This comes from the top of the pig and is naturally more tender to start with. If you have spare ribs (long and fat) then they will need 3-5 hours to poaching time. If you use Baby Back ribs, they will need 2-3 hours. The cooking time on the BBQ remains the same. Your butcher might have one or other, or both, and don’t be scared if you have to order them as they often chop the bones out for port belly so won’t have them to hand. Have a chat and ask them questions – and if you need more help ask me! “