Last Saturday, we got invited to our first official braai. For those of you who are not conversant with South African English, a braai (pronounced like "pie" except with a "br" in front) is a barbeque or a grill. The word is actually Afrikaans and can be a verb ("I'm going to braai some sausages tonight") or a noun ("We're having a braai at the weekend").
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons black pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like your ribs) (Added 9/21/2011: a couple of readers have found 1-1/2 Tblsp too spicy for their taste. Cut back to 1/2 Tblsp for medium/calmer ribs. Don't worry, youi won't be labeled a wimp, they'll still have a "kick" as the sauce has mustard and black pepper too)
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 2 lbs pork ribs (equivalent to approx. two racks of spareribs)
- 1-1/4 cups ketchup
- 3/4 cup beer (you can substitute chicken or beef broth or even water, but frankly, what are ribs without beer? So, you're gonna have to go out and buy beer anyway!)
- 3/8 cup cider vinegar
- 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tablespoon dry mustard (Coleman’s)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Place racks of ribs in a glass baking dish. Rub dry rub all over ribs. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Mix together ketchup, beer, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, brown sugar, oregano, garlic, basil, thyme, pepper, and ginger in a medium-size bowl.
- (Drink rest of the can of beer.)
- Preheat oven to 325F (160C).
- Put ribs in a baking pan (or if you're lazy like me, use the same glass baking dish — just make sure it's not still cold when you put it in the oven). If you're going to put them on the BBQ after baking, reserve 1/2 cup sauce for basting later. Pour the sauce over ribs.
- Cover with alum foil. Bake at 325F (160C) around 2 hours (the meat should start loosingly from the bones nicely), basting occasionally.
- At this point, you can just serve and enjoy! But, if you're BBQ-ing, when the BBQ (braai) is fired up and ready to rock and roll, place your pre-baked ribs on the grill and baste with the reserved sauce. One of the beauties of these is that since they're oven-baked, all they need is a warming up and crisping on the grill.