Baby Back Spare Ribs with Pineapple and Molasses
- 16 baby back pork spareribs (could be a little more or less)
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 green Thai chilies or other small hot chilies, roughly chopped
- 1 two-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or any other kind of oil that you like, even coconut oil. Additionally, because I do like the taste of peanuts, I melt 1-2 tablespoons of chunky peanut butter to add to the oil.
- 2 tablespoons molasses plus 2 more tablespoons molasses for the very last preparation of the sauce.
- 2 star anises
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into eighths
- 1/2 cup canned pineapple juice or 1/2 cup crushed pineapple with it’s juice (I prefer the latter)
- In a bowl, combine the lime zest and juice, soy sauce, chilies, ginger, oil and 2 tablespoons molasses. Add the star anise, cinnamon and pineapple juice or the crushed pineapple, and stir to mix well.
- In a large plastic bag, place the onion eighths in first and then the rest of the liquid marinade. Put in the ribs (you might have to have cut the rack in half or thirds for it to fit into the bag properly), seal well, shake and turn over and over several times to make sure the marinade gets on both sides of the ribs; then refrigerate overnight. Every now and then, I turn the bag over just so the ribs are for sure well marinated.
- Remove the ribs from the refrigerator, and pour the contents of the bag, including the marinade, into a roasting pan. Allow the ribs to come to room temperature.
- Heat oven to 400F and cover the pan tightly with foil, place in oven, and bake for 1 hour, turning the ribs once halfway through cooking.
- Remove the pan from the oven (leave oven on), discard the foil, and carefully spoon only the liquid from the pan into a saucepan. Return the pan to the oven, and continue to bake the ribs uncovered.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons molasses to the liquid in the saucepan and place stove top over medium heat. Cook until the mixture is foamy and syrupy, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and remove the star anise and cinnamon sticks; pour the saucepan’s sauce over the ribs, turning them until they are well coated.
- Transfer everything to a large platter, and serve.
- I serve this with rice and coleslaw or some kind of greens like mustard or collards.
- Sometimes unconventionally and as shown in the picture, I’ll add carrots and even cut Brussels sprouts to the ribs as they bake. It’s an easy way to add your veggies and these two in particular go nicely with the sauce. You can use your imagination here however you might like to be more conventional and only bake the ribs by themselves.