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Lone Star Barbecue Spareribs

You can vary the sauce for the spareribs according to your taste, of course, but you and yours will love it "by the book." The recipe easily doubles if you are feeding more than 4 or 5 people and have a grill or pit to accommodate that much meat. Remember, you are not grilling directly over the coals, so you won't be able to use the entire grill surface.
  • 4 pounds beef or pork spareribs
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (not the cooking variety)
  • juice of 1 lemon
You'll be grilling the ribs for about an hour and a half, saucing them during the last 15 minutes. This sauce contains brown sugar and other ingredients that will flame up, so indirect grilling is called for. Start your charcoal or wood or fire up your gas grill. Rub the slab of ribs all over with the olive oil, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and rub it in. Cover and set aside.

Start your sauce: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. When it begins to bubble, add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, stir and turn heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes until mixture is somewhat reduced and thickened. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, if you think it necessary.

When your grill is ready, put the ribs, bone side down, in the center of the grill. Make sure that the drippings won't drip directly onto the heat source. Cover the grill and open the vents enough to make sure there's air flow. Grill the ribs for 1 hour, turning at 30 minutes and one hour.

If you need to build up your fire again, add more coals at this point. Be sure to keep the lid closed at all times unless you are tending the ribs or the coals.

About 15 minutes before they are due to be ready, give the ribs a good basting on both sides with the sauce. Bring the sauce back to a gentle boil for a few minutes. When the ribs are done to your liking, take them off the grill and serve immediately with the sauce on the side.

Recipe editor

Note: This sauce is fine for chicken, pork and beef.

Rib Recipes
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