News and Tribune


March 21, 2014

BBQ MY WAY: Oven roasted ribs

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — I realize that this is a column about BBQ, and I also realize that some of my ardent readers will find the subject of this week’s column to be blasphemy. I know what you might be thinking. Ribs are suppose to be cooked low and slow outdoors, with lump wood charcoal. How could anyone in their right mind argue with that? I certainly can’t.

But, hear me out. Sometimes it rains all day. Or, at times we go though a brutal winter where we don’t fire up the grill for weeks. Those are the type of days that you can pull this recipe out of your back pocket and still serve delicious, saucy and tender ribs to your friends and family. Liz has made these ribs for years. I’m pretty sure we found it in one of the first cookbooks we bought.

You can use any type of pork rib for this recipe, baby backs or spare ribs, although you won’t need to cook the baby backs quite as long. For this column I used spar ribs, which are bigger and thicker. I guess you could also use the “country cut” ribs, but those aren’t really ribs, they are really fatty mutilated pork chops. The key is the cooking technique, and the star of the show is the homemade sauce. Liz made an instructional video which can be found at

Sauce Recipe

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp chile powder

1 tsp dry ground mustard

1/2 tsp ground paprika

 2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1 rack of pork ribs

1 onion

1 lemon

Salt and pepper

The sauce can be made in advance, or can be made while the ribs are cooking. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine all of the above “sauce” ingredients. Stir and bring to a very light boil, but not a high boil as you will burn the sugar. Let simmer over low heat without the lid for 15 minutes or so to let it thicken a bit.

Place the ribs meat side up in a large roasting pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Salt and pepper the ribs. Peel and slice the onion and slice the lemon. Lay the lemons over the ribs until the surface area is covered. This is what helps tenderize the ribs. Now, lay the sliced onions over the lemons. Pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water in the pan. Wrap the pan in aluminum foil and place in the oven for one hour.

Remove the pan, pull off the foil and remove the onion and lemon. Discard the onions and lemon. Move the ribs to a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut the ribs into sections of two or three ribs. Drain the fluids from the large roasting pan and place the ribs back in the pan. Brush the ribs with the sauce. Rewrap with aluminum foil over the pan and place back into the oven and cook for another 30 minutes.

Pull from the oven again and remove the foil. Spoon sauce over the ribs again. Place in the oven for another 15 minutes, this time without foil. Remove from the oven and spoon or brush the sauce over the ribs one last time. You should pretty much have used all the sauce by now. Place back in the oven, uncovered, for another 20 minutes or so.

Pull them, gander at their beauty, and serve them! You will love them!

Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. He is also a Kansas City Barbecue Society judge. Liz is his wife. You can contact Dave with your BBQ, grilling or questions at or at

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