Gran’s Pork Spareribs

by Kris on December 12, 2011

When I first started this blog, I never intended for it to grow the way it has. I had always loved to cook but I found myself forgetting my recipes. I once made an incredible sweet potato salad and to this day I can’t remember what I put in it. I’m the kind of cook who much prefers creating my own meal with a little of this and that, rather than strictly following a recipe. I guess I get this from my grandmothers.

My grandma Crain was known for her bread. Although she died in 1992, family members, friends, and even locals of Lanark county still rave of her country loaves. Only a few months ago my mum was eating lunch in Perth when a man approached her and said, “you’re Georgina’s daughter! Your mother made the best bread in this county!” Grandma never wrote down her recipes, it was all in her head. So when she died, so did her wonderful recipes. I began to think about how my recipes could die with me as well if I didn’t record them. That’s when I began munchin with munchkin.

My Gran Mullen is 86 years old and still as witty and energetic as always. She immigrated to Canada during world war two as a war bride. I guess being an immigrant runs in my family. Gran and I have always been very close. As a child she would take to me to the Ottawa river and we’d share a picnic and play hide and seek. As I got older we would take the train together to Montreal and spend the day shopping and exploring the underground tunnels. Although she is British, you’d never suspect it in the kitchen. One of Gran’s specialities is pork spare ribs. Her ribs are tender with a tangy sweet sauce and the meat literally falls off the bone.

Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to acquire one of my grandmother’s recipes, so it is my mission to record as many of Gran’s as I can. This is my adaptation of her spare ribs, which have quickly become a weeknight staple in my house. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family has for decades.

  • 2 lbs. pork spare ribs
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • ½ Tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 1 Tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 250

In a bowl, whisk together ketchup, barbecue sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add ribs and brown on both sides. Place ribs, meat side down, in a 9×13 inch baking pan. Add diced onions to dish and cover with sauce.

Cover baking dish with tin foil and bake in the oven for 4 – 4 ½ hours until meat is tender and easily falls off the bone.

serves 2-3

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Anastasia December 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm

This looks delicious! Your photography is amazing!!!! You should start one more blog teaching us how to take beautiful pictures of food…

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remy December 15, 2011 at 4:33 am

O man now I have to go and take 3th breakfast ;). Pictures are incredible, and according to previous comment of Anastasia it could be great idea if you could share you photographic knowledge, just a little bit. Just for inspiration I recommend you to visit this site /dont worry about language just watch ;)/ kwestiasmaku.com

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lorrielorrieb December 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I have to agree with you in that I rarely follow a recipe but the hazard is not remembering what you made or ever being able to replicate it. I too find that blogging stuff we eat has helped that problem a lot!

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The Hook December 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

My mouth is watering already…

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kate Donovan February 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Just tried this tonight and it was tender and delicious! Put it together early afternoon and it was ready for supper. Very tasty.

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Kris February 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm

So glad you enjoyed it! It’s a staple in my house

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april May 10, 2012 at 1:07 am

this looks delicious… just to double check though, is it 250F or 250C?

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Kris May 10, 2012 at 9:57 am

Thanks April. It’s 250F.

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Irina July 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Tried this recipe on Sunday and they turned out YUMMY! I cooked them 5 hours total and turned the ribs over to make sure they were roasting in the yummy sauce evenly. Next time I will add a little more brown sugar and only use one onion. This is only due to my personal preference, the recipe was perfect as is. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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