Slow-cooking a rack of ribs smothered in sauce is a perfect introduction to grilling; consistently basting the meat as it cooks keeps it moist and flavorful, which means that even it happens to over-cook, no-one will be the wiser. This is a very classic way to grill up some saucy ribs. The little twist that I’ve thrown into this basic recipe is the use of Sriracha (instead of the standard Tabasco) in the BBQ sauce. I prefer using this Asian hot sauce to flavor the BBQ because it has a light sweetness to its distinct spicy heat, which adds an extra dimension of flavor to the ribs.
1 rack of pork ribs (3-4 pounds)
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup ketchup
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1. Clean and trim any large excess of fat off the pork if needed. Leave some fat on the meat; it is what makes the ribs fall-off-the-bone-tender in the end. Pat dry with some paper towels, set aside.
2. Start the grill. If using charcoal, start the coals and set them to one side of the grill. (If using a gas, start the burners on one side only.) Once the grill grates are hot, clean them with a grill brush to remove any leftover buildup from the previous grilling session. Make a non-stick cooking surface by dipping a small wad of paper towel into vegetable oil and running it along the grill grates.
3. While the grill is heating up, prepare the Sriracha BBQ sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the onions with a drizzle of olive. Once the onions have turned translucent, stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook for a couple minutes to bloom the flavor in the paste (it will turn darker). Whisk in the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Brush both sides of the ribs with the sauce. Place the ribs onto the cooler side of the grill, with the meatier side facing the heat source. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours, flipping every 30 minutes and brushing both sides with more sauce each time. The ribs will be done when the meat starts to pull away from the bone. Remove from grill, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest 10 minutes before cutting to separate the ribs.
5. While the ribs are resting, reheat the sauce; bring it back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Pass the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Allow to cool, then serve with the ribs.
6. Wasn’t that easy? Now go eat!
* Note on ribs: baby back ribs are cleaner to eat but have less meat. A St. Louis style rib has a few more bones and bits in it, and takes longer to cook, but is much more meatier.
* Don’t want to grill? You can also slow-cook the ribs in the oven at 250F.