We prefer to eat our short ribs in the form of kalbi, but roasting an entire rack is also a rewarding experience. Off the rack, these ribs are meaty, fatty and delicious.

Although my pork ribs are usually cooked by braising or boiling and then grilling, I decided to do the opposite this time around, and grill them first. The result is soft, juicy meat – akin to a pot roast.

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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.

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NOTE: An updated version of this recipe appears in my cookbook, The Ancestral Table.

Successfully making BBQ ribs is probably the most hotly-debated item in my repertoire. True BBQ experts insist that the only way to cook ribs is over a slow heat outdoors for a long period of time (read: all day). My recipe creates consistently-good BBQ ribs that all but narrow-minded purists can easily enjoy.

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