Posted in Experiments, Recipes

The Sunday Gravy Project Part 8 – Barbecue Sauce Ribs

Recently, Carla over at Expat Chef in Barcelona ( a great blog, by the way, so please check it out), made some great comments to Part 6 of my Sunday Gravy experiment (The Pulled Pork Sandwich).  I was looking for something to do for part 8 and her BBQ sauce idea prompted me to cook some ribs in the gravy (thus adding yet more depth to the flavor) and then use them to play around with barbecue sauce ingredients she suggested.

I plan to update you on the status of the gravy shortly (we are now at Day 45, of the experiment), but, basically, Carla inspired me to use a little of the current result with some simple additional  additions in order to make a tangy sauce. There won’t be any actual barbecuing involved in this experiment, actually, but I am looking forward to seeing how her general theme works with the ribs cooked in the oven…

The Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs. Pork ribs cut into short sections;
  • Vinegar;
  • Mustard Powder (Coleman’s, for example);
  • Sugar;
  • Salt and Pepper;
  • Tomato Sauce (my Sunday Gravy in this instance, not shown).

You will notice I haven’t included any quantities here and this reflects Carla’s suggestion that you simply mix and match to taste. I’ll give you the rough amounts I used in due course…

The Method

It probably isn’t critical, but browning the ribs is generally good idea for most recipes as it adds great flavor. I seasoned these with a pinch of salt and a good bit of pepper and then browned them for about thirty minutes in a 350 degree oven.

The next step is probably the most important step from the perspective of the project and this is to braise the ribs in the gravy at 350 degrees for about an hour. At the end, the ribs will still retain a lot of texture and taste but will have given up some lovely taste to the sauce.

Using Carla’s rough guidelines, I mixed a large tablespoon of mustard powder with 4 tablespoons of sugar and a quarter cup of vinegar. This seemed about right for the other ingredients I was using and tasted lovely all by itself.

I mixed the ‘Carla’ ingredients with about a cup of my gravy, the ribs and (as a last minute addition) about a ¼ cup of thinly sliced onion. I put everything in a baking dish in the oven at 450 degrees.

After about 45 minutes or so, turned everything over in the dish to keep the onions moist and cooked for another forty-five minutes until the sauce was reduced and thickened. It probably could have gone for longer with good result but I thought it was ready now, and I let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

The Verdict

Well, my wife had no idea about the source of this dish and her first comment was to say how great the sauce was… and she was right!

These ribs were deliciously tangy and the mustard and vinegar were a great complement to the tomato, Kudos Carla … this is a*GREAT* way to play around with some basic tastes.

On a final note though … I liked the way the ribs came out but for those who like the meat completely falling off the bone I would recommend you turn down the heat to 300 degrees or so and let things go for at least another hour. For me, though, these were perfect!



I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

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