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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