Sticky Cider Spare Ribs
Transform a cup of apple cider into sticky, spicy, spare ribs.
Sticky Cider Spare Ribs
Seasonal Event:
4-6 Servings
3 Hours
  • 2, 3-pound racks spare ribs
  • 1 - 1 ½ cups water


  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon mustard powder
  • ½ tablespoon coriander
  • ½ tablespoon toasted, ground fennel seed


  • 2-3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ⅔ cup apple cider syrup (recipe below)
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Serrano chili, shaved into thin coins
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1-gallon apple juice


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Honey, to taste (~½ teaspoon)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large shallot, minced (~65g)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves


  • 1 large fennel bulb, shaved on mandolin (~225g)
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced (~125g)
  • ½ large golden beet, shaved into thin strips (~125g)
  • 1 large granny smith apple, small dice (~200g)
  • ¼ cup packed celery leaves
  • ¾ cup toasted walnut pieces
  • Fennel fronds, to garnish


  1. Heat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Mix ingredients for rub in small bowl.
  3. Cut racks of ribs in half, creating 4 half-racks.
  4. Press spice rub into racks on all sides (edges and tips of ribs too), place racks in roasting pan.
  5. Pour water around racks, then tightly seal pan with foil over top.
  6. Roast ribs for 1 ½ - 2 hours, until meat is fork tender and bones are exposed.
  7. While ribs cook, prepare sauce. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and tender. Add red chili flake, sauté 1-2 minutes more.
  8. Add cider syrup, soy sauce, and vinegar to pan, whisk to combine.
  9. Add shaved serrano to sauce.
  10. Cook sauce over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cover saucepan set aside.
  11. When ribs are tender, remove foil and discard. Heat broiler to high
  12. Brush half the sauce over ribs, coating both sides. Place ribs meat-side-up back in the roasting pan and broil until ribs are sticky and sauce is caramelized in a few places, 4-5 minutes.
  13. Remove ribs from broiler and brush remaining sauce on top.
  14. Cut ribs apart, serve.

Cider Syrup:

Yield: ~2 cups

  1. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced to about 2 or 2 ½ cups, (~3 hours). As the liquid reduces, adjust the temperature down so as not to accidentally turn syrup into jelly.

Fall Slaw:

Yield: 4-6 servings

  1. To make dressing, whisk together oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add splash of honey to taste, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk shallot and tarragon into dressing, set aside.
  3. Add all ingredients for salad (except fennel frond garnish) to large bowl. Toss till evenly distributed.
  4. Drizzle dressing over vegetables, tossing to coat. Season salad with extra salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Garnish salad with fennel fronds.

Recipe by Dan Kohler, 9/10/20

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