How to Cook Smith Meadows Spare Ribs

One of the questions we hear regularly at farmers market is, “What kind of pork ribs do you have?” Smith Meadows Spare Ribs are St. Louis style ribs. This means that they are taken from the whole spareribs of the hog, which have had the brisket bone and some meat surrounding it removed so the cut appears more rectangular in shape. 

The easiest way to prepare our ribs is to cook them in the crock pot.  Put 2 racks in the pot with a jar of your favorite sauce, and 1-2 cups chicken stock or water.  Put it on low for about 4-6 hours.  When you come back, you will have dinner and relatively little mess. 

For the more adventurous chef, have you tried skillet ribs on the stove top, or a Memphis Style oven technique with a dry rub?

Mark Bitman’s Spare Ribs with Rosemary, Olives and Lemon are very flavorful and easy to make on the stove top.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 or 4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
2 or 3 sprigs rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 dried red chili
2 pounds pork spare ribs, cut into small pieces if possible, into individual ribs if not
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine or water
1 lemon, washed and sliced as thinly as possible
1 cup oil-cured olives

1. Put oil in a deep skillet or casserole over medium-high heat. Add garlic, rosemary, and chili. When they begin to sizzle, add ribs. Brown ribs on both sides, for a total of about 10 minutes, sprinkling lightly with salt and pepper as they cook. Add wine or water and allow it to bubble away for a few seconds, then add lemon and olives.
2. Cover and adjust heat so mixture simmers as gently as possible. Cook, turning ribs every 10 minutes or so (if mixture threatens to dry out, add a little more liquid). When ribs are tender, after about 30 to 40 minutes of cooking, serve them, with olives, lemon and sauce spooned over them.

Mark Lieberman’s Dry Rub Ribs is another easy method for the oven.
2 pounds baby back ribs
For the Rub:
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
25 grinds fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Preheat over to 300 degrees F.
2. Mix the rub ingredients together well in a small bowl.
3. Remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs, then rub the vegetable oil onto the ribs. Pour the rub over the ribs and work the rub fully and evenly into the ribs. Spread the ribs out evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake until tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Discussions over how to create the perfect smoked ribs are endless.
The best site I have found that makes sense of the why of ingredients and method is Amazing Ribs. Here is a link to their take on why a dry rub needs sugar. Many of our customers prefer not to use sugar. I have been successful combining a similar blend of spices with less than half or even no sugar.

The best results come from these steps:
1. Marinade
2. Dry rub
3. Slow cook in the oven wrapped in foil
4. Finish on the grill.