Texan Style Barbequed Pork Spare Ribs

Texan Style Barbequed Pork Spare Ribs

A few months ago I posted the cheats version to making Southern Style Barbequed Ribs. Since then I’ve been meaning to post the authentic version of the dish, simply because the long, time honoured method will always create the best tasting ribs.

Southern Style Ribs

Devote the time and effort and you will be truly rewarded for your efforts.

Makes 6 serves


2 kg of pork ribs (use 3 kg if you want generous serves)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients -barbecue rub

4 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons smoky paprika
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Ingredients – barbecue sauce

1 onion (finely sliced)
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 thumb fresh ginger (minced) – optional
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ cup tomato sauce (can use ketchup)
1 cup water or stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
½ cup malt or cider vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper


1. Place all the rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
2. Place pork ribs in a glass or plastic container/tray and liberally coat all surfaces with the rub mixture and massage into the flesh.

Tip – I always use a non-metal dish to marinate the pork as I find meat marinated in metal containers can sometime give a metallic flavour to the meat being marinated – it depends on the marinade and the length of time it is basting.

3. Wrap container/tray with plastic cling film and place into refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours (it is preferable if you can leave the ribs overnight, as they will develop a better flavour).
4. Once marinated in the rub, place the ribs in a large baking dish, add the oil and cover with aluminium foil. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 175° C for 45 minutes.
Do not remove any of the marinating rub from the pork surface prior to baking but you can discard any liquid which may have formed during the marinating process.
5. Once the initial 50-minute period has passed, remove tray from oven and liberally coat all surfaces of the ribs with some of the barbecue sauce (see below). Re-cover with foil and return to the oven for 20 minutes before repeating process once more.
6. Once the second period of baking has been completed, remove the ribs from the oven and assess their tenderness. They should be soft and succulent and ready for the final cooking stage but dependant on the meatiness of the ribs, they may need a further 20-minute cooking period. If so baste again, cover with foil and return to oven otherwise proceed to step 7.
7. Increase the temperature on the oven to 200° C, baste the ribs once more and return to the oven uncovered. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes so the ribs can brown and crisp all over (turn then when necessary to brown both sides). When browned remove from oven, baste once more and loosely cover with the aluminium foil used during the baking process – allow the ribs to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

To serve – cut the ribs apart and serve with remaining barbecue sauce allowing individuals to help themselves. Accompaniments for this meal are generally a potato salad or some alternative pickled salad. For me however, I like to serve boiled parsley potatoes and smother them in the extra barbecue sauce.

How to Make Barbecue Sauce for Barbecue Ribs

1. Place olive oil in a pan and add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook over a moderate heat until the onions are translucent.
2. Add all the dry ingredients to the pan – sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook momentarily before adding all the other ingredients. Mix well and reduce heat to a simmer.
3. Cook for 30 minutes stirring regularly to prevent sticking and burning and to ensure the sauce thickens. Then cool until ready to use.
When I make this sauce, I often liquidise the sauce so as to make it smooth. If you want smooth rather than chunky barbecue sauce, blitz the sauce at the 20-minute mark and then cook it for the final 10 minutes. This sauce will keep for a week or two in the fridge.

Please be aware, there is no right or wrong way to make barbecue marinades, dressings and sauces. Do not be afraid to add items and flavourings you may prefer to the marinade or barbecue sauce. It should also be noted that in America these ribs are most commonly cooked on an outdoor barbecue. For best results on an outdoor barbecue you need a barbecue which can be kept low and it must have a lid or hood. It also helps if you place the ribs on a wire rack over a tray of water during the first phase of cooking, so the water creates steam and keeps the ribs moist.

If your want the cheats version, head here … Fast and Easy Barbequed Ribs