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  • Serves: 6 Servings

Barbecued Spareribs #1

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Category: Meat

 Ingredients List

  • 8 lb Pork spareribs
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Wood chips
  • Barbecue sauce (optional)



This is one ofthe great dishes of our culture. Yes, barbecued pork ribs
are very special, and they are ours. Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, and
Houston seem to have the best ribs imaginable, though every major city in
America now boasts a few fine ribs houses.

Home cooking of ribs is not difficult at all.

There are several methods. I have heard of people steaming the ribs
before barbecuing in order to ensure tenderness . . . but I think there is
something heretical about that. Something to do with one's grandmother or
the Texas sky. I'm not sure why that steaming suggestion so bothers me. It
might just work, but I am not about to waste a good slab of ribs trying to
find out.

I have smoked ribs in a garbage-can smoker and then finished them off in
the kitchen oven. I discussed that in an earlier book. That works well, but
anyone in Kansas City or Dallas would not hear of such a thing.

The old method seems to be the best. Cool fire, slow cooking, sauce on at
the end. That is what I want you to try.

At Arthur Bryant's, in Kansas City, the meat is done over a very low fire
and offered with the sauce on the side. Their sauce is a bit unusual and I
have tried to come close to what they offer. My sauce follows. You must go
to Bryant's sometime. Calvin Trillin loves the place and has made it quite
famous, although you will be surprised when you walk in. It is simply good
barbecue served in a black barbecue house. Paper plates, Formica tabletops,
the whole scene.

Salt and pepper the ribs and cook them over a low fire, just as in the
pork-shoulder recipe. They should take about 1-1/2 hours to cook. Be sure
that you do not put the ribs on top of one another. Give them plenty of
room. Control the smoke flavor by the use of the dampened wood chips or

Normally the sauce is put on after the ribs are cooked. However, if you
like crunchy ribs, baste the ribs when they are finished. Then continue to
cook for 15 more minutes. They wouldn't do that in Kansas City, and Edith
wouldn't do it in Chicago . . . but sometimes the crunchiness gained from
the darkened sugar in the sauce is just great.

Don't tell anyone in Kansas City that I told you to do this!

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