This is an adaptation of a recipe given to us by Twillard Mayweather of Memphis, Tennessee. His secret to succulent ribs was to barbecue the meat in a deep pit, with hickory, for the better part of a day, but our version—created with a little help from Chris Schlesinger, co-author of The Thrill of the Grill (William Morrow, 1990)—works well for home use.
For the Ribs & Marinade
- 2 (2-lb.) racks pork spareribs
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup worcestershire sauce
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tbsp. <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/barbecue-spice-mix">Barbecue/ Spice Mix</a>
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
For the Sauce
- 1 1⁄2 cups ketchup
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup worcestershire sauce
- Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. dry mustard
- 1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper
For the marinade: Place ribs in a shallow pan. Combine all marinade ingredients in mixing bowl, then pour over ribs, turning to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.
Preheat oven to 200°. Pour off excess marinade from pan and cook ribs for 3 hours.
For the sauce: Cook all sauce ingredients with 3⁄4 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat until thick, about 15 minutes.
To finish ribs on a charcoal or gas grill, place on rack over low flame. Cook, turning once, until lightly browned and crusted. This could take 5–30 minutes per side, depending on hotness of fire, distance of ribs from heat, and type of grill. At this point, baste ribs with sauce and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes per side. Serve ribs with additional sauce on the side.