Food & Drink

Barbecued Ribs with Molasses Mustard

From Sarah Leah Chase: I don’t have a ton of experience when it comes to barbecuing ribs, but the guys in my family love them and I knew no tailgating chapter in a book of mine could fly without a really good rib recipe. I lucked out when I experimented with this recipe because I happened to score some really terrific ribs at a locavore-driven butcher shop called The Meat Market in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and had simultaneously received a shipment of mustards from Raye’s in Maine. Raye’s Moose-a-maquoddy Molasses mustard beckoned by name alone; now I can’t imagine making these finger-licking ribs with anything else.

Barbecued Ribs with Moose-a-maquoddy Molasses Mustard

Serves 6


  • 3 pounds St. Louis-style spareribs (see Note)
  • 2⅓ cups fresh apple cider
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup your favorite store-bought hickory flavored barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill grate


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil in the center of a large roasting pan.
  2. Place the ribs in the center of the prepared roasting pan. Bring up the sides of the foil to enclose the ribs, leaving an opening in the top. Pour the cider over the ribs, then loosely seal the foil to enclose the ribs.
  3. Bake the ribs until very tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. Carefully open the foil packet to allow any steam to escape, remove the ribs from the foil, and transfer the ribs to a large baking sheet. Discard the foil and cider. Smear the ribs all over with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the mustard.
  4. While the ribs are braising, combine the turbinado sugar, salt, chili powder, paprika, peppercorns, and garlic powder in a small bowl, stirring to blend evenly. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly all over the mustard-coated ribs. The mustard will help the spices adhere. The ribs may be prepared up to this point, covered with foil, and refrigerated for up to 2 days, if you plan on transporting them to a tailgate event.
  5. Set up a charcoal or gas grill and preheat it to medium-high.
  6. Place the barbecue sauce, 2 tablespoons of mustard, and the maple syrup in a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
  7. When ready to grill, brush the grill grate with oil. Place the seasoned ribs on the grate meaty side down. Cover the grill and cook the ribs until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Turn the ribs over and grill them for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Then, baste the ribs with about one third of the barbecue sauce mixture. Continue grilling the ribs, turning them and basting them with the sauce, watching carefully so the sauce does not burn, until the ribs are lightly charred and very tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Serve the ribs hot or warm, cut into serving portions. Accompany the ribs with any remaining barbecue sauce for dipping and plenty of napkins.

Note: St.Louis-style ribs are pork ribs trimmed rectangularly.

New England Open-House CookbookNew England Open-House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase

From a born-and-bred New Englander comes a book that sings with all the flavors and textures of the beloved region. Sarah Leah Chase is a caterer, cooking teacher, and prolific writer. In New England Open-House Cookbook, Sarah draws from her memories of growing up in Connecticut and Maine; her experience living and cooking on Cape Cod; and her extensive travels meeting farmers, fishermen, and chefs. The result is a wide-ranging cookbook for everyone who has skied the mountains of Vermont, sailed off the coast of Maine, dug for clams on Cape Cod, or just wishes they had.

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