Arlene Dickinson’s Slow-Cooked Ribs
Since 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
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cut ribs into 6 portions and serve with extra sauce on the side.