Dry Rubbed Oven Baked Pork Ribs

I have always wanted to cook ribs and this weekend my husband and I decided it was time to give it a shot. Pork ribs get such a bad rap because they are most often slathered in an extremely sugary sauce and served with fries, potato salad or coleslaw drowned in a thick, creamy dressing. This recipe uses a dry rub and minimal sugar so is a much healthier way to enjoy ribs. I would not recommend ribs as a staple part of a diet as ribs are quite high in fat but as long as you are not eating too many ribs in one sitting this is a reasonably healthy and low carbohydrate meal.

We wanted to avoid the hassle of barbecuing with wood smoke chips and the like, so found a simple way (thanks Alton Brown) to cook them in the oven. We were not disappointed; I am truthfully salivating thinking about them as I write this. I was glad it was just the two of us with no one else watching as we devoured the lot caveman style, ravenously tearing the extremely tender and flavorful meat off the bones with our teeth until there was not an ounce left.

What these ribs do need is time – and a lot of it. The hardest part about cooking ribs is it requires a bit of pre planning. Aside from that it is an incredibly simple recipe and my husband made a very healthy, lightly dressed and tangy yet still crunchy coleslaw to go with them that matched perfectly with the rich, slightly sweet and slightly spicy ribs.

Dry Rub Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ground chili powder
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fine crystal sea salt
  • Generous amount of cracked pepper

Other Ingredients:

  • Pork spare rib rack, cut in half
  • Brandy and extra brown sugar

Method:

Preheat the oven to 95 degrees Celsius.

Prepare a baking tray with a roasting rack.

In a bowl mix the dry rub ingredients together. Cover the ribs in the dry seasoning, massaging well into the front and back of the ribs.

Tear out 2 large sheets of aluminum foil and place each rack on a sheet then wrap up tightly and place on the roasting rack meaty side down.

Place wrapped ribs in the oven and roast for 5 hours. Turn down the oven temperature to 70 degrees Celsius and roast for another 1-2 hours.

Remove the ribs from the oven and carefully unwrap the foil then pour the juice from the aluminum wrapper into a small saucepan. Add a dash of brandy and extra brown sugar and reduce on stove top on high until it becomes thick and syrupy. (How much brown sugar you add to the sauce depends on how sweet you like your ribs to be – we went for just a little to keep the sweetness to a minimum).

Meanwhile, turn on the broiler on the oven to high. When the sauce is ready place the ribs back on the roasting rack now meaty side up and baste the top of the ribs with the sauce. Put back in the oven under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and caramelizing on top. Reserve any remaining sauce to serve on the side.

Remove from oven and allow ribs to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

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