BBQ'd Spareribs

This is a good, all-purpose sauce to use for brushing on barbequed ribs or chicken wings, and for dipping. You can spice it up by adding some Asian hot chili sauce if you like. The sauce keeps well in the freezer, so I often make it ahead to have it on hand.



For the Sauce
2 Tbsp butter or oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Heat butter or oil in frying pan (or in a large microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup). Stir in the chopped onions and cook over medium heat until softened (2+2 minutes in the microwave). Add the chopped garlic when the onions are partly done.
1 cup ketchup
1 cup water
2 Tbsp vinegar (white or malt)
juice of a lemon, approx. 2 Tbsp
2 Tbsp Worcester sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
salt + pepper

Add the remaining ingredients to the onions + garlic, stirring to mix everything well and dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently until the sauce thickens to the consistency you like, about 20 minutes.
If you are cooking on the stove top you will need to stir it regularly to prevent the bottom from burning. In the microwave, use medium power for 10 minutes at a time.
whole racks of pork ribs,
preferably back ribs
If you are going to barbeque the ribs, steam them first to tenderize them and make sure they are well cooked. I use a large roasting pan with about half an inch of water in the bottom. Bring the water to a boil, then stand the ribs on a rack over the water, cover the pan, reduce the heat to simmer and steam the ribs for 30 minutes or more. Use some of the sauce to brush on the ribs while barbequeing them, and serve some on the side for dipping at the table.
You can also use the sauce to bake the ribs in the oven. In that case, cut the racks into serving pieces, pour the sauce over and bake, uncovered, at 350° for 90 minutes.
Makes enough sauce for 6 servings from my university roommate's mom, 1961