Quick Spare Ribs and Coleslaw

Read Time: 4 min

✓Low-carb ✓Gluten-free ✓Grain-free ✓Dairy-free ✓Nut-free

This is an easy dish which always goes down well. Great finger food and great for a party or hungry kids.

Usually ribs are served in a sticky sweet-and-sour BBQ sauce (i.e. high sugar), but for those on a low-carb diet this simpler, more honest version helps the flavour of the succulent meat take centre stage.

Ribs are perfectly accompanied by a home made coleslaw (recipe here): tangy and aromatic, clean and refreshing on the palette, and suitable for a grain-free, low carb and even a ketogenic diet.

I used ‘baby’ half-length ribs, from Goodwood farm, on this occasion. Goodwood, which is famous for its horse and motorcar racing, also has one of the best organic farms in Britain, rearing cows, sheep and pigs, almost exclusively from its own home-produced organic feed. They have always been organic, and best of all they offer wholesale meat and organic, unpasteurised, unhomogenised milk to the locals too, all at good prices!

Pork Spare Ribs (2 hour method)


The Ribs

  • 3 racks of spare ribs

Take your raw ribs, whatever quantity you are going to prepare, and place them in the dish you will be cooking in. I suggest a large rectangular pyrex dish or a stainless steel or enamel roasting dish. In a jug mix up the following sort of combo, according to your own taste:

Low-Carb Marinade

  • Olive oil – about 100ml
  • Cider vinegar – about 100ml
  • Tamari soy sauce – 20ml
  • Tomato puree – about 50g
  • Tomato ketchup – about 50ml
  • Chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Ginger powder – 1 tsp
  • Mixed herbs – 1 tsp
  • Mustard powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Fresh ground black pepper – 1/2 tsp

Stir or shake all of this together, with whatever proportions you fancy. I usually find that I haven’t made enough, so I just keep adding more of everything until I have enough to coat all of the ribs.

On this occasion I kept the ribs whole, in a rack, but sometimes I cut them up, such that each rib is separate. Either way, I simply pour the marinade over the ribs, and turn them in it such that all surfaces are coated, or I turn each rib round in the mixture.

After that, cover them. I tend to use another baking sheet for this purpose as I don’t like aluminium foil in contact with acids, but it can be used if you make sure it stands clear of the food.

Leave the meat to marinate for as long as you can (up to 24 hours). Sometimes I only have an hour in hand for this stage, but it is better if you can leave them longer, either in the fridge or just on the kitchen counter, depending on the season (think ‘flies’).

Heat the oven to about 150 degrees centigrade, and place your ribs in for at least an hour. I say ‘at least an hour’ because if you have more time you can drop the temperature to more like 140 C and leave it in for 2 hours, or if you just don’t have time to hang about and need supper to happen quickly, put the temperature up to 160 C and take them out a bit sooner! Do check half way through to just see how they are going, turning the ribs if that is practical, and replacing the cover with care to prevent burning, as they have a tendency to char at the edges.

When you reckon they are ready to your taste, and not burnt, serve up to a hungry, happy crew, preferably with a green salad, or some celeriac chips and definitely some coleslaw (recipe here).

Quick Version! (50 min)

Here is the QUICK trick, which the recipe title promised:

Rather than marinate the ribs before baking them, if I am short on time I will cut them into individual ribs (with my fantastic kitchen scissors mentioned in this previous post, the fifth photo down) add a little water and pressure cook them for 15-20 minutes.

While the ribs are part-cooking in the pressure cooker I preheat the oven and get the marinade prepared as above.

Once the 20 minutes is up I bring the pressure down by running cold water over the lid of the pressure cooker in the sink, after which the ribs can be lifted out with tongs, into a pyrex dish and the marinade poured on top. Then, everything can be popped in the oven for a further 20-30 mins, without a cover.

The result is succulent, delicious ribs that are so melt-in-the-mouth that they feel like they have been slow-roasted for 4 hours at low temperature, but in fact took under an hour to produce. Bingo!

Make sure you put paper napkins out. They’ll be needed!

A great party-plate of ribs and coleslaw — easy for a celebration gathering, BBQ, Halloween or children’s party