Spicy Sticky Back Ribs

These ribs might take a little extra time but I guarantee that you won’t find tastier ribs anywhere – and they are certainly worth the effort. 

Make sure to serve with plenty of napkins and additional barbecue sauce for dipping.


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 can or bottle beer
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • zest of lemon or lime
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp soya sauce
4 racks pork baby back ribs, membrane removed

In small bowl combine dry ingredents.  On large baking sheet place rub both sides of ribs with dry rub, pressing and patting it in.  Cover with foil and refridgerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 250 – pour off any liquid on baking sheets, cover ribs tightly with foil and roast for 3 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone.  Pour off any liquid on baking sheet.

For the bbq sauce:

Melt butter, add onion, garlic and thyme.  Cook over moderate heat until onion has softened.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to boil.  Stir well and continue to cook at a moderate heat until sauce has thickened. This does take some time, and will taste better if you allow it to slowly reduce.   Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Broil or grill ribs, continuing to brush barbecue sauce over.

To serve, slice between each rib – mound on serving platter and scatter sliced green onions, lemon and lime wedges.

If you love Mexican cuisine, as we do, then make a few substitutions/additions ….

To the rub:  1 tsp smoked sweet paprika, 1 tsp ancho chile powder & 1 tsp chipotle chili powder

To the BBQ sauce:  2 tbsp of the leftover rub, replace the beer with 1/2 cup of smoky mezcal, and add 2 minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (if you can get it add 1 tbsp sour lemon)

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