Slow-Cooked Ribs

Arlene Dickinson’s Slow-Cooked Ribs

Arlene-Dickinson-headshotSince it was rare to get them, ribs were a special treat for me growing up. I think with ribs the secret is always in the sauce — and this is a killer sauce. You can play it a bit by ear, but you need the key ingredients. The molasses is something you can’t scrimp on.



  • 2 1 1⁄2-to 2-lb. racks pork backribs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1⁄2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup good-quality or homemade ketchup
  • 1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6 whole cloves or 1⁄8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
Directions Yield:  Serves 6

Prepare Ribs

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Flip ribs over so they’re bone side up. Slip the tip of a sharp knife under the membrane that coats the back of the ribs. Grab hold with fingertips and pull off. Discard.
  3. Place ribs in roasting pan or large baking sheet, bone side down. Brush each rack with 1 tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pan or wrap tightly with foil. Bake for 1 1⁄2 hours or until very tender when pierced with a knife.

Make Sauce

  1. To make sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Purée with an immersion blender if desired or leave chunky. Reserve. Makes 2 cups sauce.

Finish Ribs

  1. Remove ribs from oven. Increase oven heat to 425°F. Drain drippings from pan and discard. If desired, cut racks into pieces of two or three ribs so they’ll get extra saucy.
  2. Flip ribs over so they’re bone side up. Brush sauce onto bone side of ribs to coat thoroughly. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven. Flip ribs and brush generously with sauce. Return to oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes or until sauce begins to caramelize at edges.
  4. Cut ribs into 6 portions and serve with extra sauce on the side.
Recipe by:
Arlene Dickinson
Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott
House & Home September 2015
Joel Bray (prop) David Grenier (food)