Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
The base of our three sauces is made with ketchup, vinegar, onion, garlic and cayenne. Add one of the variations that follow for a sweet, spicy or smoky sauce.
2 slabs pork spare ribs (2 1/2 pounds each)
2 tablespoons chili powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 small onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Ingredients for desired variations (below)
Oil, for grates
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season ribs with chili powder, salt and pepper.
Stack slabs on a double layer of aluminum foil; wrap tightly. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cook until meat is fork-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make barbecue sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, cayenne and desired variation. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Heat grill to medium-high; lightly oil grates. Carefully remove ribs from foil, pouring off any accumulated liquid. Brush ribs generously with sauce; grill until charred, 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with extra sauce, if desired. Serves 6
Per serving: 681 calories; 47 g fat (17 g saturated fat; 62 percent calories from fat); 18 g carbohydrates; 182 mg cholesterol; 1,110 mg sodium; 44 g protein; 1 g fiber.
Kansas City style: In step 2, stir in 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses and 1 tablespoon yellow mustard.
Memphis style: In step 2, stir in 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce and 1/4 cup sugar.
Dallas style: In step 2, stir in 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo sauce and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin.