A finger-lickin’ good rib recipe with layers of flavour from the spice rub, the homemade chipotle barbecue sauce and the final sizzle on the barbecue. Delicious! The sauce can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (82 votes)


Chipotle barbecue sauce

  • 25 g butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 fresh or pickled jalapeño chilli, chopped
  • 400 ml tomato puree 
  • 1 dried chipotle chilli (see Note)
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) white wine vinegar
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) Worcestershire sauce
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) Tabasco sauce
  • ½ tbsp tomato paste


  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 racks baby pork back ribs (about 3–4 kg)
  • 1–2 bottles dark beer 

Marinated coleslaw

  • ½ head white cabbage, cored and sliced very thinly
  • ½ head red cabbage, cored and sliced very thinly
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced very thinly
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup (185 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1½ tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp celery seed
  • ½ cup (125 ml) chicken stock

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 6 hours

To make the sauce, heat the butter in a saucepan and sauté the onion and jalapeño chilli. Put in a blender with the tomato puree, chipotle chilli, molasses, sugar and garlic and blend to a puree. Return to the saucepan, add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to a thick sauce consistency.

Combine the dry ingredients for the ribs. Rub 2–3 tbsp of the spice mixture into the ribs, coating them on both sides. (Store the remaining spices in a jar for next time.) Place the ribs in a large dish and pour over the beer. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1–2 hours.

Bring the ribs to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place a large piece of foil over a large baking sheet and put the ribs on top, removing them from the beer. Wrap tightly in the foil and bake for 2 hours.

Preheat a barbecue grill to medium heat. Take the ribs out of the foil and place on the grill. Brush with barbecue sauce and cook for 6–8 minutes on each side. The sauce should caramelise a little on the surface.

Break the ribs into pieces and serve with extra barbecue sauce.


Marinated coleslaw
In a stainless steel mixing bowl, layer the sliced cabbage and onion.

In a 2 litre saucepan, combine the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, dry mustard, celery seed, and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Pour the hot liquid over the cabbage and onion but do not mix.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and marinate for 6–8 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Toss before serving. The cabbage slaw can be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use.

Serve with smashed potatoes and corn on the cob.


• Chipotle chilli can be found in specialty stores that provide Mexican products.