Easy to make yet complex in flavor, this recipe joins molasses’ faint hint of sweetness and earthiness with the brightness of paprika and tomato. Brining the ribs in a flavorful bath of molasses, fennel, and lemon zest slowly tenderizes the meat before you begin the cooking process. By tenderizing the meat in brine, the ribs retain moisture and yield to your fork and teeth in a gentle, loving way.
Once you make BBQ sauce from scratch, you won’t want to go back to the pre-packaged, sweet, artificial ingredient-filled plastic bottle sauces. Most of this sauce’s ingredients might be in your pantry or refrigerator, and if not, with a quick trip to the local grocery you will be set up. If you cannot locate San Marzano tomato paste, just buy a generic organic tomato paste.
This recipe will more than satisfy your Memorial Day and early June BBQ partiers without stressing you out with a complicated setup.
2.5-3 pounds pasture-raised pork spare ribs
8 cups filtered water (room temperature)
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sea salt
1. Whisk all of the ingredients but the pork together in a large stainless steel pot.
2. Once mixed, add in the ribs, and put a small plate or bowl over the ribs so that all of the flesh is submerged in the liquid.
3. Place the pot in the refrigerator.
4. Brine the ribs for 3 hours.
5. Pull the ribs from the brine, place them on a sheet tray covered in parchment paper, and sprinkle a little olive oil and salt on them.
6. Roast the ribs for about 1.5 hours, and then pick up with step four below.
Chocolate, Smoked Paprika BBQ Sauce:
1.5 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate
7 ounces organic San Marzano tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons smoky paprika
1 teaspoon garlic paste (make fresh)
Salt, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 315 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan on very low heat.
3. Put the other ingredients in a stainless steel bowl.
4. Mix in the melted chocolate with the other ingredients. Set aside at room temperature (away from the stove’s heat).
5. After the ribs have cooked for 1.5 hours at 315 degrees Fahrenheit, lather the sauce on both sides of the ribs.
6. Turn the ribs about every 30-40 minutes as they cook for another hour or hour and a half. Add more sauce to cover the ribs as necessary. Once they pull away from the bone, the ribs are done.