Lip-Smacking Finger-Licking, Messy, Good Ribs

from Eat Alberta First

My sister Laurie got the recipe for Phil’s Original BBQ ribs when she lived in Toronto. When she and my brother-in-law, Zig, saw the light and moved to Jasper, she always made them when we visited. I loved all those messy, good times and have continued to make the ribs over the years, only changing the sauce a bit. Enjoy these succulent ribs slathered with lots of the sauce, along with Zesty Potato Salad, Shades of Green Salad and Hot Pepper Cornbread (recipes in the cookbook).

Makes 4-6 servings

Takes 90 minutes’ active time + minimum 2 hours marinating time or marinate overnight and grill the next day.

Rating: Competent to proficient

What You Need to Gather

Large stockpot

Measuring cups and spoons





Cutting board

Roasting pan


For the meat

5 lb pork side ribs

2 garlic cloves with skins on, smashed

¼ cup red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns

8 bay leaves

For the sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ cups ketchup

½ cup chili sauce

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp onion powder

Sunflower oil for the grill

What You Need to Do

Put the ribs in a large stockpot with the garlic, pepper flakes, peppercorns, and bay leaves and add enough cold water to cover.

Bring to a boil, slowly over medium heat, and then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for at least 1 hour. Remove any scum that floats to the surface with a skimmer. Meanwhile, make the sauce.

Whisk together the minced garlic, ketchup, chili sauce, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, and let thicken for about 10 minutes. Set aside until the ribs are boiled.

When the ribs are cooked through and tender, remove them from the cooking liquid and use a knife to remove any outer silver skin. Place them in a large roasting pan or baking dish and coat all sides with the marinade. Put in the refrigerator and leave for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Turn the grill on to low to medium heat, wipe it with oil to prevent sticking, add the marinated racks of ribs, and cook, turning once, until heated through and slightly charred, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the grill and slice on a cutting board.

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: There’s a debate on whether or not to parboil the ribs before cooking them in the sauce. This is the way I’ve always made it so I’m happy to see I’m not alone. I’ve also made ribs in the oven if the bbq isn’t handy or you need a kiss of summer on a cooler day. Of course the sauce makes all the difference and this one will be a hit around your picnic table this summer!

Recipe by Karen Anderson from Eat Alberta First, copyright © 2023 by Karen Anderson. Reprinted with permission of TouchWood Editions.