Dog Days of Summer: Maple BBQ Glazed Spare Ribs

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August 24th, 2010

Hot enough for you this summer? Find yourself running from one air conditioned space to another, trying to beat the heat?

Well, the city sidewalks and town pools aren’t the only thing heating up this summer. Maple glazes are a sizzlin’ trend right now!

Top chefs and influential foodies across North America have been experimenting with meat and fish maple glazes, including New York’s Birdsall House with its maple-glazed pork belly entree, Epicurious’ Carolina Santos-Neves with her Maple Soy Glazed Mackerel Fillets with Avocado, and Quebec’s “Chef of the Year” François Blais at Panache de L’Auberge Saint-Antoine who loves to experiment with maple’s unique and complex flavor profile, such as his critically-acclaimed maple glazed duck. The pure maple syrup glaze affords a natural sweetness, offering the perfect balance to a range of savory dishes.

Most people think making really great ribs requires a backyard smoker and a degree in sauces and rubs. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This foolproof recipe requires little more than seasoning a rack of ribs with salt and pepper and baking them for an hour, no work required.

These dog days of summer should be spent with good friends, good food and good wine, even if it’s too hot to go outside, so keep things cool with this Maple Spare Ribs recipe!

Maple BBQ Sauce Glazed Spare Ribs

Yield:   4 Servings


  • 3/4 – 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure Canadian maple syrup
  • 1 slab baby back ribs, about 1 ¼ pounds
  • Coarse salt and cracked black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Pour BBQ sauce into a small non-reactive bowl. Whisk in pure maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Season baby back ribs with salt and pepper. Place in 7 x 11 inch baking pan or directly on your oven broiler pan.

Cover tightly with foil. Bake one hour. Remove from oven, discard foil and pour off liquid that has accumulated in pan bottom.

Pour BBQ sauce over ribs, turning once, covering both sides evenly. Return to oven for ten minutes.

Remove from oven. Cut between ribs, distribute ribs evenly plates.  Serve immediately.

Maple BBQ Sauce

Don’t let the length of the ingredient list put you off! This sauce really is quick to prepare.

Before You Shop This sauce freezes well so consider making a double or triple batch. Divide the completely cooled sauce into meal size portions and package in freezer safe zipper bags. Defrost in the refrigerator the night before serving

Yield:   Makes 1 ½ cups


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 6 Tablespoons finely chopped onion (about one small onion)
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon pure Canadian maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice


In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking.

Add onions, garlic and the bay leaf. Reduce heat to low and cook covered until onions soften, about 6-8 minutes.

Whisk in remaining ingredients; lemon juice, ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, pure maple syrup, Tabasco, black pepper, celery seed and allspice to the pot.

Bring to a boil, immediately reduce heat to a simmer and cook ten minutes or until onions have softened completely and the sauce has thickened to desired consistency.

For leftovers:

Baby Back Rib Pasta for Four

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve one cup of cooking liquid.

When pasta is cooked, drain and pour back into pot with reserved cup of pasta water. Season noodles to taste with salt.

Cook ribs according to recipe instructions. When cool enough to handle, remove meat and sauce from bones directly to pot with pasta and water. Toss evenly to coat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

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