Week 13 - Maple Barbecue Ribs

When I learned that March was "Maple Month", I decided to make something with maple for week 13 of my cookbook challenge. Finding a maple-based recipe from one of my cookbooks was surpisingly difficult, but I managed to find one in the cookbook "The American Diner Cookbook", by Elizabeth McKeon and Linda Everett. The recipe I chose was Maple Barbecue Spareribs.

This cookbook was one I received for Christmas this year and I have not made anything from it before.  It is crammed full of diner inspired recipes and lots of photos of vintage American Diners.  None of the recipes appear to be from any specific diner, which I would have liked, but these are definitely recipes you might find in any roadside diner.

"The American Diner Cookbook"


This recipe called for beef ribs, so I chose short ribs, rather than spareribs suggested in the title.  The first step was to cook the ribs in the oven for about an hour, seasoned with a little salt and pepper. 


Seasoned short ribs ready to go into the oven


While the ribs were cooking I made the sauce which called for a number of ingredients including mild chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, spices and of course maple syrup.  It was easy to make but not as thick as I was expecting it to be.  Instead of mild chili sauce I chose to use a combination of two hot sauces we had in the cupboard. One was Smoking J's Fiery Foods "Roasted Ghost Hot Sauce", which despite its claim, isn't really very hot at all.  For some added smokiness I used "Bufalo Salsa Chipoltle".

The ingredients and finished sauce

The ingredients and finished sauce

Sorry New Hampshire, I had to use Vermont maple syrup for this one.

Once the seasoned ribs were done with their first stage, I took them out of the oven and poured the sauce over them.  They were then cooked in the oven for two additional hours.  When they came out of the oven they were nicely glazed and the meat was starting to pull away from the bone.

Ribs fresh out of the oven

Ribs fresh out of the oven


I served the ribs with mashed potatoes and sautéed brussel sprouts.  The resulting ribs were good, but not great.  The sauce was very nice and I would use that part of the recipe again.  However the cooking directions for the ribs resulted in tough ribs that tasted good, but were difficult to eat.  I think a longer cooking time, at a lower temperature, would have resulted in much more tender ribs.  If I make these again, I would try and find a different recipe.

Week 13 Roundup

Cookbook: "The American Diner Cookbook", by Elizabeth McKeon and Linda Everett

Recipe: Maple Barbeque Spareribs

Difficulty: Fairly easy, but time-consuming

Alterations: I used short ribs instead of spareribs and hot chili sauce instead of mild

Results: The glaze was very good, but we thought the meat from this recipe was too tough

Make Again: I'd make the glaze again, but would find a different and slower recipe to make more tender ribs.