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Southern Style Spare Ribs

Southern Style Spare Ribs

Feeds: 2-4  
Prep:  20 mins  
Cook: 3-4 hrs 
Difficulty: SUPER Easy to Easy
T = Tablespoon; t = teaspoon
Gluten free with paleo options

2-3 lbs Diamond Mountain Ranch Mangalista Pork Spare Ribs; portioned

3 T of your favorite pork spice rub
2 t Garlic Powder
2 t Onion Powder
1 t Salt
1 t Black Pepper
1 t Sweet Paprika*
1/4 t Cayenne Pepper*
1/4 t Cinnamon; ground

5-6 T Dijon Mustard*
3-4 T Apricot Preserves

Paper Towels
Aluminum foil

Roasting pan with v-rack*
Rimmed baking sheet
Basting Brush

  1. Thaw ribs in package on a plate in the refrigerator overnight or in a large container filled with ice water in the sink, placed under a trickling faucet so that the water continuously circulates for 30-60 mins.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F
  3. Combine the spice rub/mixture with the mustard until it forms a paste; spreadable but not dripping.
  4. Remove ribs from package and rinse under cold water.  Pat dry with paper towels. Remove silver skin. Slice along the bone into 2-rib portions.*
  5. Cover ribs with the spice paste and massage it into the meat on both sides.  Get it all over.  Don't be shy.  Say some encouraging words to your ribs.
  6. Tear off a long, rectangular sheet of aluminum foil and place ribs in the middle, bones perpendicular to the long edge of the foil. Pull the long sides together and fold down, forming a tight seam. Roll the open ends into tight seams.*
  7. Place the deep roasting pan and rack in the center of your oven and fill with water until it is just below, but not touching the rack.  Place rib foil packets onto rack.
  8. Cook at 375F for 30 mins.
  9. Turn oven down to 350F and cook for 60 mins.
  10. Turn oven down to 325F and cook for 2 hours.  This is a good time to check your water level, adding more if needed. 
  11. Carefully remove pan from oven and cut small slits in the packet and drain drippings into a bowl.
  12. Turn oven to broil or as hot as it'll go.*
  13. Place ribs on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.*
  14. Combine preserves with drippings and baste ribs generously and place under broiler.  
  15. Broil until a dark, saucy crust forms on the surface of the ribs. Do not walk away.  This does not take long and can burn easily.  
  16. Remove, let cool for ~5 mins and enjoy.  Plates and silverware optional.


Tips, Tricks, and Asterisks 
  • Take a few minutes to read the entire recipe before you being.  Don't want anything sneaking up on you, do you?
  • For a smokier flavor, use 1/2 t sweet paprika and 1/2 t of smoked paprika.  Great for getting that wood-fire grilled taste without a wood-fire grill.
  • Use more or less cayenne to reach the level of spiciness that you enjoy.  I encourage you to push your spice limits a little on this dish, the sweet preserves will help the calm the heat.
  • Yellow mustard will absolutely work but I was feeling a lil' fancy so I went with dijon for it's depth of flavor.
  • Use preserves to add a fruity (rather than sugary) sweetness.  Apricot, peach, mango and apple will be great.  If you're feeling adventurous, think about blueberry or blackberry. This is the secret. I think.  Boring ol' BBQ sauce can also be used and will be delicious.  
  • If you wanna step up your cooking game, take any of the fresh fruits listed above and remove skin and seeds (exception: berries; fine to leave whole), chop and bring to boil with 1/4 cup water and 1-2 T of honey.  Turn down and let simmer until thick and brushable   BOOM... fresh and paleo "preserves."
  • The v-rack will hold the most rib packs but there are several alternatives that will work.  A baking sheet with a cooling rackis the next best thing, followed by a broiler pan and lastly, try an inverted muffin tin in a deep roasting pan.  The goal is to keep the ribs close to, but out of the water.
  • Pre-portioning the ribs makes for a neater presentation.
  • Make sure the seams on your packets are seal tight, but leave the packet itself a little loose, giving the ribs some room to breathe.  Makes a few packets with 4-6 ribs in each.  This is easier to handle when hot.
  • A grill can be used instead of a broiler and pan. Make sure to get it at least 400F or higher to form a nice crust without over cooking the ribs.
  • Line your baking sheet with foil or parchment to make clean-up easier.  If you use parchment, make sure it is high-heat parchment.  Some consumer parchment only takes heat to 400F before it burns.