Salt & Pepper Spare Ribs

I’m on a bit of a low-carb kick at the moment, trying to shift some of the ever-lingering baby weight that seems to have taken up permanent residence about my person! I’ve got to be honest, it’s not altogether a bad thing – I’m a total carb junkie. Sugar, potatoes, rice, pasta, I could eat it all until it comes out of my ears. And I have done. Often.

Which probably hasn’t helped the situation.

Anyway. I have this one pair of jeans still hanging in my wardrobe that I’ve not even got close to being able to fit into since the beginning of 2010… I am determined that they will fit before this year is out! It’s utterly depressing to go clothes shopping and have nothing fit properly.

So I’m looking for low-carb recipes to try out at the moment. I love ribs. The problem is that they often come covered in this absolutely gorgeous, sticky, sweet BBQ sauce, something that is a complete no-go for me at the moment. It probably doesn’t help that I made this amazing vanilla pudding cake just the other day.

I remember having salt and pepper spare ribs at a local Chinese place once or twice, and they were really good. So I started clicking around online looking for a recipe, and every single one had some sort of sugar or honey or something in there that wouldn’t work for me.

Spare ribsI thought about it a little more, and figured that as long as there were some nice flavours there, they should be good. Right? Especially if they were really slowly cooked. So in the end, all I used was salt, pepper and Chinese five spice powder. That’s it.

And they were fabulous. Because they were cooked at a low temperature and slowly in a foil packet, the meat was literally falling off the bones and so tender.

I really didn’t miss the BBQ sauce. Not one bit!

So all in all, I’d say this recipe was a raving success. I honestly can’t remember when I last managed to make anything meat-based as nice as this. I served them with some fries – and I did make some BBQ sauce – for my boys, and I made some swede salad (or rutabaga for you guys on the other side of the pond!) as an accompaniment for me. Beautiful.

And after these babies were in the oven for a couple of hours, my house smelt gorgeous. Bonus!

Salt & Pepper Spare Ribs

2.2 lbs / 1kg spare ribs

1tsp Chinese Five Spice

2 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Put the ribs into a large bowl.


Mix the Chinese Five Spice, salt and pepper together in a small bowl, and then pour over the ribs.

Mix well with your hands, and cover the bowl and leave to marinade in the fridge for a couple hours. When you have around 20 minutes left in the fridge, preheat the oven to 250F/120C.

Put a large piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of a large casserole dish (mine was 13 x 9 inches). Lay the ribs on top, meat side down, and pour over any juices left in the bottom of your bowl.

Seal the package tightly and put into the middle of your oven for three hours.

Take the dish out, open the foil and carefully turn over each rib so it is meat side up. Leave the package open, and raise the oven temperature to 350F/180C and bake for a further 8-10 minutes, just to crisp up the tops slightly.


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