When it comes to BBQ pork ribs loom large in our imaginations, a classic item for our grill.  Racks of ribs however are a speciality of southern barbecue  where food is cooked for many hours low and slow in what is referred to as a pit . This is quite different to the typical British barbecue which has food being cooked quickly over hot coals or gas grill.

Whilst there are more BBQ setups available that have smoking features this recipe is aimed at most of us that have a more basic kit. This means getting the low and slow part of the cooking done in the oven and the final stage  adding colour crispy crust and smokey flavours from your regular BBQ or grill.

There are many many different schools of thought on special rubs, brines and numerous other special treatments to get the best result. The one below will deliver tender and tasty meat with depth of flavour, a good brown crust, smokey aroma and a hint of sweetness. You can adapt the ingredients to your preference.

This recipe is using loin ribs or “baby back” ribs but will work just as well with the larger spare rib just keep an eye on the oven cooking time to reflect larger or thicker racks. All the pork in our shop is free range and slow growing for extra flavour. It comes from Blythburgh Pork, you can find out more here >>

Ingredients For Pork Ribs BBQ

1 rack of loin pork ribs (8 bones) from Morley Butchers
1 large onion sliced
1 large carrot sliced longways
1 stick celery sliced longways
4 large garlic cloves
4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp sage
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground chili flakes
2 tblsp black treacle
3 tsp dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil

Cooking Method For Pork Ribs BBQ

Remove your ribs from the fridge and allow them to come up to room temperature. Heat your oven to 120 °C.

As you will be cooking the meat for several hours a large pan with a lid is just perfect otherwise two pans – one inverted to form a lid or just a good tent of foil all will work. Aim to have the meat to lie flat in the roasting pan

Rub the meat all over with some oil then ketchup, this will help all the seasoning stick to the the surface. Cover evenly on both sides with the salt and pepper, oregano, sage paprika and chilli.  Also the finely chopped garlic.

Spread the other chopped vegetables across the bottom of the pan along with the bay leaf. Place the meat on top, bone side up. Pour in some water enough to cover the vegetables underneath.This will keep things moist during the cooking.

For melting tender cook the meat for about 4 hours, check after 2 to ensure its not getting dry and to test the degree of “doneness”. Is ready when you can see that the meat has risen back along the bones and it easily flakes when prodded with a fork. Remember you want to avoid it collapsing if it is going to make it onto your grill for that last stage.

While its cooking you can make the BBQ sauce this is to brush on at the end for a lovely mahogany colour and that hint of salt sweet. Mix the mustard and treacle together along with some salt and pepper – you can put in extra chili here if you like a rib with some extra bite. When you remove the meat from the pan there will be plenty of tasty cooking juices,  drain off the fat and reduce the remaining by half use some of this to double the volume of the BBQ sauce which should be dark brown and viscous.

You BBQ coals should be white and pushed to one side to allow some indirect cooking. Place the pork ribs rack on the grill and rotate to get an even colour and texture. Brush on the BBQ sauce but remember it contains sugar so will blacken it it gets too hot – keep a close eye.

When the colour is right its ready to go, serve by cutting between the rib bones.