Spare ribs with rum barbecue sauce

We live near a large oriental supermarket that sells huge racks of ribs at reasonable prices, so when I was in there one day grabbing supplies, I bought one and shoved it in the freezer, thinking that I would bring it out on a sunny day. 

Well, the weather in the UK has been *somewhat* sunny over the past few days, so this is as good a time as any to make some barbecue style ribs! 

I made a paste using a Jamie Oliver recipe and served with some slaw and jacket potatoes.

The paste was really nice and spicy with chipotle and the ribs were extremely moist. The rum sauce was a great addition and added loads of flavour. Rather than cook on a barbecue, I cooked these in the oven and they turned out perfectly. 



Serves 8

Pork ribs with a rum barbecue sauce

180Cook Time

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  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5kg pork ribs
  • For the paste5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chilli paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • For the sauce4cm piece of ginger, peeled
  • 3 cloves of garlic , peeled
  • 125 ml tomato ketchup
  • 60 ml dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar


  1. Combine the paste ingredients and 2 teaspoons of salt in a bowl. Pat the ribs dry with kitchen paper, then place in a tray and rub all over with the paste. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
  2. When you want to cook, remove the ribs from the fridge, shake off any excess marinade and allow to come up to room temperature. Heat oven to 180c.
  3. If your rack is whole, rub with the paste and place on a foiled baking tray. Cook for around 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, finely grate the ginger and garlic into a small pan on the hob. Add the rest of the BBQ sauce ingredients and 80ml of water. Simmer over a medium heat for around 20 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Season to taste and set aside.
  5. Remove the ribs from the foil and brush all over with the BBQ sauce and any cooking juices. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes tender and golden, basting well every 10 minutes or so. Remove to a board to rest for 5 minutes, then carve.