Spare Ribs

Excuse Me Sir, Can You Spare a Rib?

Chipotle Barbecue Basted Spare Ribs with Warm Potato Salad
Eater rating: 4.2 / 5  4.225

Tonight we’re eating slow-roasted spareribs and potato salad for dinner. The ribs were marinated with a spicy dry rub for several hours then roasted low and slow until the meat was uber tender. Every half an hour the ribs were basted with home made sweet and spicy chipotle barbecue sauce. The potato salad was served warm and made with red potatoes, diced celery, red peppers, scallions, crumbled blue cheese, crispy crumbled bacon, cilantro, and a lemon-bacon vinaigrette.

A: aaah. the elusive barbecue sauce. i’ve never really been truly satisfied with any of my barbecue sauces. this one was my best to date, but still not all i hope and dream it to be.
T: I really liked this bbq sauce… and I thought it was significantly better than the last one you made. The dry rub on the ribs was really good too. Hmm, you know I’m not entirely sure which part of the flavor came from the rub and which part came from the sauce. Doesn’t really matter though because that shit was goood.
A: thanks t! i thought it was pretty good too. i would really enjoy getting to smoke them and instill all that yummy smoke flavor into them, but as it was, the low and slow baking process kept them nice and moist.
T: Yeah, they were not dry at all, and they were nice and tender. I think in the end it was the rub that really set it off for me (although I could be confusing it with the sauce). It was delish. I give the meal a 4.5/5. These weren’t the best ribs I’ve had in my entire life, but they were in the top tier. The warm potato salad was quite tasty as well, although we haven’t really talked about it. I’ve never had a potato salad like it… bleu cheese, bacon, warmth. And it was very tangy. Mmm. Good. What’d you think of it all?
A: well, i agree with you that the ribs weren’t the best i’ve ever had, but still good. I give the meal as a whole a 3.95/5… it just couldn’t make a 4.0. The potato salad was great. nice and tangy, lacking mayo but still rich in fat… baaaacon fat! 😛 the ribs were moist and tender and had a good flavor. i was just ultimately disappointed. i was hoping to magically bust out some of the best ribs i’ve ever eaten…. even though this was my first time making spare ribs. oh well! there’s always next time.
T: yeah… and usually you do magically bust out the best that i’ve had of whatever we’re eating. It’s an impressive thing you do. I think you’re putting little crack crystals in our food but you were running low tonight. Couldn’t get the hookup?
A: crack crystals? what crack crystals? 😛 mwaaaahaaahahahahah! i’ll never tell!

A Rib Recipe, by Amanda
Oven-Roasted Spare Ribs

2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp pasilla powder
1 tsp new mexican chili powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 rack of spareribs, membrane on the rib-side of the rack removed
2-3 cups spicy chipotle barbecue sauce (recipe follows)

In a bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the canola oil and soy sauce to the spices. Mix well to make a paste. Massage the spice paste evenly into both sides of the spareribs. Wrap the rack of ribs in plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the spice rub, refrigerated, for 1 hour to overnight.

Once the ribs have had a chance to marinate, remove them from the fridge 20 minutes before roasting and allow them to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Once the oven has preheated, place the ribs on a baking sheet and into the oven. Bake the ribs at 300 degrees for 3 hours. Baste both sides of the ribs liberally with the spicy chipotle barbecue sauce ever 20-30 minutes. Flip the ribs over each time you baste, making sure meaty side of the rib it facing up after the final baste. Remove the ribs from the oven. Allow the ribs to rest for at least ten minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

A Barbecue Sauce Recipe, by Amanda
Spicy Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

1 small onion, small dice
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/3 cup pureed chipotle in adobo
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp pasilla chili powder
1 tsp new mexican chili powder
1 (14.5oz) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1/8 cup dijon
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/2-3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
3/4 cup water
kosher salt, to taste

Preheat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add canola oil to the sauce pan. Once the pan is hot, add the diced onions. Sweat the onions over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and soft. Add the garlic to the pan and stir to combine. Saute the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, pasilla powder, and new mexican chili powder to the pan. Stir. Cook the spices for about thirty seconds until their aromas have been released. Add all the ingredients, except the salt, to the pan. Simmer the barbecue sauce for about 10 minutes over low heat. Puree the sauce carefully until pretty smooth, either in a blender or using a hand blender in the saucepan. Taste the sauce, then season as necessary with kosher salt. If you aren't using the sauce immediately, allow it to cool before storing in the refrigerator. Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Enjoy!

11 comments so far:

  1. jef says:

    Ribs! Don’t feel bad, I can never get BBq sauce to taste quite like how I want either. You either need some commercial grade chemicals or a SERIOUS BBq sensei to get it right. You were talking about smoking them, ever use liquid smoke? You can go low and slow and still get the smokiness in there. It’s kind of cheating, but most people wouldn’t know.

  2. Kristen says:

    My hubby is a BBQ smoker and we rarely use sauce…just a dry rub. Mmmmmmm!
    I love your blog.

  3. Amanda says:

    For real, jef. and unfortunately i’ve never worked at a real bbq joint to have a good sensai. one of these days i’m gonna quite my cushy job cooking for a family and work in a real bbq place…. uh.. but i haven’t really had much luck with bbq here so i might have to move for that! 😛 you know, i’ve tried liquid smoke (actually have a bottle in the house) but i think it kind of tastes funny. like, not quite right funny. next time maybe i’ll try it none-the-less. OH! btw, T and I went to Hodad’s last weekend, when we were…hmm.. uh… intoxicated, and i have to say, the bacon cheese burger without the salad on top was actually pretty damn tasty. I eat my words on Hodad’s. Now i know just not to order it with all that crap on it.

    Thanks so much Kristen! You’ve been in my google reader for quite a while. I really like your site too! I’ve totally envious of your husband. On day i’m gonna save up for a smoker and actually get the ribs i’m dying for!

  4. dankos says:

    I love your blog. “Spicy Chipotle Barbecue Sauce” . i cooked it and it was wonderful

  5. aria says:

    hey, spare a rib for me too please! i dont care what you say, these look perfect to me. your inspiring me to get some chipotle in adobo, i need to get over my fear!

  6. Yep. You can almost taste this just from feeding the post. All you need now is someway to serve it over the ether and you would have the most popular restaurant on the plant.

    This is a great blog.

  7. I make somthing similar to this but its with a cabernet sause, I love ribs 🙂

  8. Alice Q says:

    Those look really good Amanda – might have to try that out!!

  9. Phlytyer says:


    Is that a potato salad your ribs are nested on in the opening pic? I am always looking for a good potato salad recipe. Besides, when we try these ribs, we really will need a good side dish.

  10. Miya says:

    This recipe looks delicious! Quick question: does the cooking time/temperature change if i decide to use babyback ribs instead of spare ribs?

  11. Amanda says:

    Miya – Yes! It will change the cooking temperature/time. Baby back ribs should be cooked between 225 and 250 degrees F for 4 to 6 hours (depending on the thickness of the ribs). Low and slow is the only good way to go with baby backs. 🙂 You if you like this sauce/rub combo you could always just follow the cooking directions for baby back ribs in this post: