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Cajun Dry-Rubbed Barbecued Spareribs

A barbecue rub is a great way to add a burst of flavor to any type of meat on the grill. This blend of strong seasonings can give bland chicken breasts or pork chops a much needed kick or complement flavorful chicken thighs or lamb chops.

The most common rub base is sugar (often brown), kosher salt or paprika, augmented by dried herbs or spices. The ingredients are most likely in your pantry.

This recipe uses a gallon-size food bag. It's important to coat the food at least 15 minutes before you start cooking so the meat and spices have time to marry.

The rub will absorb the juices of the meat and form the beginnings of a crust. If you finish the meat on the grill, be sure to use indirect heat so the crust doesn't burn. Round out your meal with grilled corn, coleslaw and potato salad.


3 tablespoons paprika

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons cayenne

1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 to 8 pounds spareribs, cut into smaller racks


Heat the oven to 325 F. In a gallon-sized, plastic food bag, combine all the spices and shake until blended. Drop the ribs into the bag and shake until well-coated. Remove ribs to a cutting board and rub the mixture thoroughly over them, pressing it with your fingers. Arrange the ribs in a large, shallow roasting pan and roast, uncovered, until very tender, about 2 hours, basting occasionally with fat from the pan. Cut into serving portions. To finish the ribs on the grill, cook for 30 minutes. Be sure to use indirect heat so the crust doesn't burn.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

— Adapted from "Pig: King of the Southern Table" by James Villas (Wiley, $34.95)

Per serving (based on 6): 613 calories (76 percent from fat), 51.2 g fat (16.4 g saturated, 18.5 g monounsaturated), 173 mg cholesterol, 34.2 g protein, 2.8 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 564.4 mg sodium.

Cajun Dry-Rubbed Barbecued Spareribs