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Sweet-and-Spicy Pork Ribs

After marinating overnight and baking slowly in a spiced mix of honey, ketchup and mustard, the ribs become fragrant, sticky, sweet and succulent.

Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup veal demiglace (see Note)
  • 2 large racks of meaty pork ribs (8 pounds), cut into individual ribs
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the oregano, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, crushed red pepper and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the honey, ketchup and mustard and cook over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and demiglace and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes; let cool.
  2. Put the ribs in 2 large resealable plastic bags. Add the sauce to the bags. Seal and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Transfer the ribs and marinade to a large roasting pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Add the water to the pan, turn the ribs and bake for about 1 hour longer, until the ribs are very tender and thickly glazed. Discard the cinnamon stick. Transfer the ribs to a platter and serve.

Make Ahead

The ribs can be refrigerated for up to 2 days and reheated, covered, in the oven.


Demiglace is available at specialty food shops and many supermarkets.

Suggested Pairing

A peppery, fruity, deep-flavored California Zinfandel is the perfect contrast for these sticky, sweet and spicy ribs.

Contributed By Published April 2004

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