Barbecued Pork Spareribs Basted With Pineapple Bourbon Sauce

Makes 6 servings. Recipe is from Cynthia L. Nobles. If you don’t want to cook a whole pig, you can barbecue relatively inexpensive spareribs. The sparerib is the cut from the belly side of the rib cage below the back ribs. Compared to smaller, tender baby backs, spareribs are tougher, but they have more meat and much more meaty flavor. St. Louis ribs are spareribs that have been trimmed to make a more uniform rectangular rack.

2 racks St. Louis style spareribs (6-8 lbs. total)

½ cup Dry Rub Seasoning Mix, plus 2 tsps. (see recipe)

1 cup pineapple juice

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

½ cup tomato sauce

½ cup white vinegar

¼ cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup Creole mustard, or any coarse-grained mustard

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

½ cup bourbon

2 cups hickory or mesquite wood chips

1. Work a long, slim screwdriver under the papery skin on the back of ribs, and move it along to loosen the skin. With your fingers, pull skin off.

2. Season each side of rib racks with 2 tablespoons dry rub. Wrap ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4–24 hours.

3. While ribs are marinating, make basting sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine pineapple juice, butter, tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, salt and ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature and stir in bourbon. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 1 week.

3. One hour before ready to cook, remove ribs from refrigerator and soak wood chips in water.

4. Prepare a barbecue for indirect cooking by placing lit coals on sides of a barbecue pit and leaving center clear, (or light the two outside burners of a gas grill). Toss drained wood chips (or put into a gas grill’s smoker box), and put a drip pan in between the coals. Pour a cup water in drip pan. Arrange ribs, bone side down, on the grill over the cool middle. Cover the grill and cook 1 hour.

5. Brush ribs on both sides with basting sauce. Cover grill and cook until meat shrinks back from the bone, 30-45 minutes longer, basting every 15 minutes. At the beginning of the last 15 minutes, sprinkle 1 teaspoon Seasoning Mix on top of each rib rack, baste and leave cover open. Remove to a platter and allow to sit 15 minutes before serving.

Dry Rub Seasoning Mix

Makes ¾ cup. Recipe is from Cynthia L. Nobles.

2 tbls. dried parsley

2 tbls. sweet paprika

1 tbl. dark brown sugar

¾ tsp. salt

1 tbl. garlic powder

1 tbl. onion powder

1 tbl. ground black pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a screw-top glass jar and shake well. Keeps stored away from light up to 6 months.