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Sweet & Sour Spareribs

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Sweet & Sour Spareribs remind me of Sunday dinners with my Grandmother. She was the person who most inspired my love of cooking, there was always something delicious simmering on her stove.

When it came to spareribs she had two recipes she used, one was this Sweet & Sour Spareribs recipe, which I called Red Ribs, and the other, was a Honey Garlic rib recipe, which I called Black Spareribs.   She always let me choose which I wanted and sometimes even made BOTH.


Both recipes baked low and slow in the oven and resulted in extremely tender ribs, with amazingly flavourful sauces (my favourite part).  Served with baked potatoes, I loved the sauce so much instead of butter and sour cream, I would just pour extra sauce over top of my potato.  I confess to being a sauce and gravy lover!

Can I prep these ahead?

You can definitely prepare the sauce and have it ready to cut down on some steps on cooking day.  They still need a low and slow cooking time, or you can speed up the process and cook them in your Instant Pot.



Sweet & Sour Spareribs

Slow baked spareribs in a rich tangy sweet & sour tomato sauce are finger licking good.  
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  • 4 pounds spareribs baby back or side ribs
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 green pepper seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red pepper seeded and diced


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare spareribs; remove silver skin, and cut into serving size pieces of 3-4 ribs.  Place in a roasting pan with vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper and place in the oven to sear while you prep the sauce.
  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Pour sauce over top of ribs in the roasting pan. . Cover with tin foil to seal in steam and bake for 1 hour.
  •  After an hour, stir in chopped green and red peppers, cover again and bake an additional 1 - 1 1/2 hours until ribs are tender. 


Baby back ribs which are naturally more tender than side ribs will be tender in about 2 hours.   Side ribs will take about an extra 1/2 hour. 
To cook in the Instant Pot, sear your ribs first, then place on the bottom of your instant pot.  Pour in 1/2 cup water, then tomato sauce mixture.  Do not stir.  Set to HIGH pressure for 25 minutes, then allow to do a natural release for 15 minutes. 
Release remaining pressure, remove ribs to a platter.  Turn the Instant Pot to the Saute function stir in red and green pepper and let sauce simmer until it reaches desired consistency about 5 minutes. 
Slow Cooker Instructions: 
Follow directions for baking, but place in the Slow Cooker and Cook on High for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
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By on February 16th, 2019
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Lara Brooks

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