I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sylvia's World Famous Talked About Spare Ribs

I decided to make Sylvia's World Famous Talked About Spare Ribs for my Spare Rib Challenge. Sylvia's is a Soul Food restaurant in Harlem that I have eaten at a few times. The most surprising thing about eating there is that the food tastes almost identical to what my mom and grandmother make. You can read all about soul food here. I bought the cookbook Sylvia's Soul Food for the recipes.

Sylvia's World Famous Talked About Spare Ribs

2 slabs spare ribs
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 to 3 cups of vinegar
"BBQ Sauce" (see recipe below)

Cut the slabs of ribs down to size to fit in a baking dish. Rub with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Dump enough vinegar in the baking dish to almost cover the ribs. Cover the container tightly and bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 1 hour. At the 1/2 hour mark, turn the ribs over.

After they have braised in the vinegar for an hour, remove them from the vinegar and place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 450 until they start to crisp up and brown, about 1/2 hour.

Next brush the ribs well with BBQ Sauce (recipe below). Reduce heat of oven to 400 and bake, uncovered. Brush a couple more times with sauce. During the last 20 minutes to not brush again so that the sauce glazes a bit.

Sylvia's BBQ Sauce

This isn't BBQ sauce like you are thinking. I would put this more as a North or South Carolina sauce. You are thinking of a ketchup based Kansas City BBQ sauce. The Kansas sauces won't work on these ribs. You have to use Sylvia's Sauce.

16 ounce Red Devil Hot sauce
2 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 small onion, sliced
1 small stalk celery, sliced
3 cups tomato puree
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 lemon, sliced

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat up. Do not let the sauce simmer or boil or you will ruin it. Let the sauce cook a few minutes until the onions and celery soften. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Strain the sauce and store in a jar.