The cooking method here (slow-cooking at a low temperature followed by a quick bake at a high temperature) makes for crispy, sticky, sweet and tangy, good old-fashioned ribs.
|spareribs (2 racks)|
|6||thyme sprigs (fresh)|
|2 1⁄2 c||balsamic vinegar|
|12 oz||beer (preferably dry)|
|1 T||garlic (minced)|
|1||red onion (diced)|
|1⁄2 c||dark brown sugar|
|1⁄4 c||whole grain mustard|
|1 t||hot sauce (up to 2 teaspoons total if you like spice)|
|1 T||Worcestershire sauce|
Preheat the oven to 250˚F.
Place each rack of ribs on a large square of aluminum foil and sprinkle generously with salt. Top with a few sprigs of thyme, then wrap up tightly. Place the wrapped racks on baking sheets, and bake for 3-4 hours, until very tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool before opening the packets.
While the ribs are baking, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, ketchup, and beer in a large saucepan. Stir in the garlic, red onion, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer gently for 2-3 hours, until the sauce is thick.
Turn on the broiler (see note). Slice the racks into individual ribs and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush very generously with the sauce. Set under the broiler and broil for just 3-4 minutes, keeping a close eye on them, removing them just before they turn black - with all the sugar they can burn quickly.
Serve hot, with lots of napkins!
If you don't have a broiler, turn the heat on your oven up to 450˚F. Finish the ribs in the oven, cooking them just 4-5 minutes, until the glaze begins to bubble.