No.66 Peter’s Dry Rub Pork Ribs (Revisited)

Ask my wife about BBQ and she will point to my DIY smoker in the garden made from flower pots and how it has not been used in the past 3 months. The reality in Scotland is that it is not known for it’s fine weather and frankly, after working for 8 hours, starting a BBQ seems like a chore.  Settling on using the oven means you have to cook at a low temperature to replicate the action of a smoker and then raise the temperature to get the texture required to make you think they have come off the BBQ.

One of the secret ingredients I use in the kitchen is liquid smoke.  Liquid smoke has a bad rap but you do get good quality liquid smoke that is natural and will give the illusion of a BBQ being used. I use ‘Halen Mon oak smoked water’ which I find gives just the subtle hint needed.  The spice blend is very simple being similar to a classic Memphis blend but lighter and more aromatic. All together this recipe is a surprise that will make you think twice about lighting the BBQ.

Side Notes: If adding mustard powder use cider vinegar. This is more traditional to American BBQ. However if not using mustard it will make the taste milder and then I would use red wine vinegar to get a more eastern Mediterranean flavour.

Serves: 2

Difficulty: Straight forward

Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

2 Racks of Ribs (about 400-500g each)

100ml of Red Wine Vinegar or Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon of Brown Sugar

2 tablespoon of Liquid Smoke (optional)

1 tablespoon of Smoked Paprika

1/4 tablespoon of Cayenne

1/4 tablespoon of Cracked Black Pepper

1/4 tablespoon of Coriander

1/2 tablespoon of Cumin

1/2 tablespoon of Mustard Powder (optional)

1 tablespoon of Salt


1. Prepare the spice rub by mixing together all the spices and salt.

2. Prepare the vinegar solution by adding the vinegar and liquid smoke together. If you are using a BBQ you can omit the liquid smoke. With a brush, coat all the surfaces of the ribs with the vinegar solution.

3. Dust with the spice rub. Don’t rub it in.

4. Take a roasting tin and a wire rack. Place the wire rack over the tin to replicate a bbq grill. Place the ribs on the rack and cover in tin foil.

5. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes at 140 degrees Celsius. Remove from the oven and brush another coat of vinegar mixture over the ribs. Cover the ribs again and cook for a further 45 minutes.

6. Add the brown sugar to the remaining vinegar, adding extra vinegar if you have only little vinegar left. Once the ribs have an hour and half in the oven remove and coat with the sugar vinegar solution.

7. Leave uncovered and return to the oven. Increase the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius for 30 min. Then remove from the oven and serve.

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