This recipe is similar to my original ribs recipe, but with spare ribs instead of baby back ribs, and with more ingredients in the braising liquid. It resulted in a rich, complex meaty taste.
The first thing you’ll probably notice right off the bat is that spare ribs aren’t very nice looking. “Spare ribs” is a phrase used for the lower ribs, which aren’t particularly evenly cut. That’s the sacrifice one makes for getting cheaper ribs! The ribs I used in my recipe were pre-cut but you may have to cut them yourself. Also, spare ribs are usually home to a bunch of pieces of cartilage, which some people find unappealing; personally, I like to dig around the ribs and find them.
3-5 lbs pork spare ribs
1 each lemon, lime, orange, onion, all quartered
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
2 cups water
1 cup BBQ sauce (all natural and Paleo-friendly, carried at Whole Foods)
1 tsp each sea salt and ground pepper, mixed together
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Place the spare ribs in a dutch oven. Add the lemon, lime, orange, onion, and garlic, and then pour enough water to cover most of the ribs. Sprinkle the five spice on top and cover, place it in the oven, and roast for two hours. You want the meat to be close to falling off the bone (but not all the way).
The ribs will come out looking like this – the meat will have receded away from the bone, making them look like ridiculous little Fred Flintstone ribs.
Place the ribs on a med/high heat grill and sprinkle the exposed side with salt and pepper. Three minutes later, flip the ribs and do the same on the other side, and liberally brush some BBQ sauce on top. Flip them again after three minutes, brushing the other side with BBQ sauce. Lastly, after three minutes flip them again and grill them for three more minutes. This process is a little more involved than your typical grilling adventure, but it ensures a nice, crispy crust on your ribs.
If you have any extra sauce you can brush the ribs again; otherwise, enjoy!