Sweet and Sour Balsamic-Glazed Spareribs

Serving size:
 4 Servings


    • spareribs (2 racks)
    • kosher salt
    • 6
    • thyme sprigs (fresh)
    • 2 1⁄2 c
    • balsamic vinegar
    • 1⁄2 c
    • honey
    • 2 c
    • ketchup
    • 12 oz
    • beer (preferably dry)
    • 1 T
    • garlic (minced)
    • 1
    • red onion (diced)
    • 1 T
    • molasses
    • 1⁄4 c
    • whole grain mustard
    • 1 t
    • hot sauce (up to 2 teaspoons total if you like spice)
    • 1 T
    • Worcestershire sauce
    • 1⁄2 c
    • water
4 hours
Ready in
4 hours


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.

Adapted from Secrets of the Best Chefs by Adam Roberts.


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.


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