oven bbq ribs

Last Saturday, I went down to the Mission to visit my friend Jeff in Dolores Park. As we lounged in the sunshine enjoying San Francisco’s Indian Summer, we brainstormed dinner ideas. I was hoping to make a special meal for Jordan when he got off work. Jeff suggested this pizza with peaches, gorgonzola and arrugula and I was sold. However, the lack of pizza dough at Bi-Rite Market—my Mission District market of choice—and my lack of motivation to craft a dough from scratch, necessitated a change of plans. And my change of plans was staring right up at me from that artisanal, humanely raised meat counter—pork spare ribs. I snatched up those pork ribs, was then seduced by some squash blossoms, and then jumped on the bus to get home and get cooking.

I slow-cooked these ribs in the oven with a brown sugar-spice rub for about 3 hours. Then I brushed them with BBQ sauce and broiled them just before serving. Jordan was in heaven. I think he may have fallen in love all over again—with pork and with me.

Oven BBQ Pork Ribs
For the ribs
1 lb pork ribs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t ground chipotle
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 T salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, spices and salt. Rub onto both sides of the ribs. Make a packet out of foil and set this packet on a baking sheet. The idea with the foil packet is to seal in the juices and slowly steam the ribs. Let those puppies cook low and slow for 2.5 – 3 hours, until the meat pulls away from the bone. Brush with BBQ sauce and then broil for just a few minutes, until bubbly and slightly charred.

For the no-cook BBQ sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t Worcestershire sauce
2 T brown sugar
salt, pepper, cayenne

Mix the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to suit your fancy. Brush the ribs with sauce and broil just before serving.

I served the ribs with fried squash blossoms stuffed with sheep ricotta—another fun recipe to come!