As you know, I work at a barbecue joint and totally kick ass in the kitchen (I also excel at humility); I am often asked to pass on the recipes that were handed down to me from my very southern — and very, VERY fat — ancestors who taught me to cook, and for the holidays here is the first of a couple of classics.
Yeah, yeah, I know that ribs are usually better as a summer thing, but deal with it.
Pork spare ribs (or beef if you don’t eat swine)
Salt & pepper
Cheap barbecue sauce
Garlic powder (or as many smashed garlic cloves as you can stand)
Brown mustard (NEVER use yellow!!!)
Marinade however many spare ribs you need over night in Budweiser, sealed in a large plastic freezer bag; Bud is important as the beer of choice because it does lend a particular flavor to the meat, and it’s available in most countries so you have no excuse for not using it.
When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven — Ooh! Sounds so naughty! — to three hundred and twenty-five degrees. Shake about two tablespoons of liquid smoke (found in the barbecue sauce aisle of your supermarket) over the meat; don’t use more than that because a little of the stuff goes a long way and can give the meat an artificial flavor if misused. Season ribs with salt and pepper to taste, put them in a deep baking pan (the cheap tin ones you can get at the market are just fine for this, and you can save yourself the messy cleanup afterwards by simply throwing the bastard out) and cover tightly with foil. The pan must be tightly sealed because as the ribs begin to cook they will steam in their own juices, thereby becoming very tender. Cook for two hours.
While the ribs are slow cooking, prepare the sauce in a large mixing bowl or pot with plenty of room for stirring/whisking. Using the hot sauce of your choice (I recommend Trappey’s Indi-Pep West Indian pepper sauce), blend liberally with at least one bottle of cheap barbecue sauce (I’d go with two as a general yardstick), as much honey, Worcestershire sauce and mustard as suits your taste, and a shitload of garlic powder, or smashed garlic cloves if you prefer. I recommend the powder since it’s easier to mix, but the smashed cloves add the unmistakable kick of real garlic. When all of this is blended it should have a consistency just a tad thinner than cake batter.
After the meat has cooked for two hours, pour off 95% of the juices and add the sauce. Cover tightly again and return to the oven for another hour. After that hour the meat should be rather tender, and you can take the foil off if you’d like the ribs to be a little bit on the browned side.
I highly recommend preparing this the day before you serve it since it will really find its flavor overnight, and they heat up great in the microwave!