Oven-Barbecued Ribs

No grill necessary – these ribs are tender and succulent, and get the requisite outdoor flavor from liquid smoke.

2 6-to-7-rib racks pork spareribs (3 to 3-1/2 pounds)

Hickory or mesquite liquid smoke

Spice Rub:

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Barbecue Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

1 medium onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2/3 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons rum or bourbon

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Mix spice rub ingredients; coat meaty side of ribs and let sit a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ribs meaty-side-up in roasting pan; sprinkle with liquid smoke and bake, uncovered, 1 hour. While ribs are baking, make sauce:

Melt butter and bacon drippings in a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add remaining ingredients; simmer 30 minutes.

Pour sauce over ribs, cover roasting pan with aluminum foil and bake another 2 hours, turning and basting every 30 minutes until tender and richly browned. (Note: For even more flavor, turn off the oven after the first hour of roasting. Pour the sauce over and let ribs marinate in turned-off oven for a few hours. Reheat and finish baking for the final 2 hours.)

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