Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton
If you can’t babysit the ribs on the grill, then cook them in the oven and finish them on the grill to add a little smoky perfume. Even though baby back or county-style ribs look meatier, we prefer spareribs for succulent pork that is finger-lickin’, lip-smackin' good.
For the Hoi-Sinful Sauce, mix the hoisin sauce, bourbon, and garlic together in a bowl. Set aside and allow the garlic to flavor the sauce for about 1 hour. Fish out the garlic cloves and discard.
Remove the membrane on the underside of the ribs by loosening it first with a knife on 1 edge then by pulling it off diagonally with a pair of pliers. It may come off in pieces, that’s fine. (Or ask your butcher to do this for you.) Rub the ribs with lots of salt and pepper and then paint all over with some of the Hoi-Sinful Sauce. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Put the ribs on a large baking sheet and cook until the meat is tender when pierced with a knife, about 2–3 hours. Brush more sauce on the ribs every now and then while they're baking.
For finishing the ribs in the oven, continue to cook them for another 30 minutes, brushing the ribs with the sauce every 5 minutes. The ribs will develop a "lacquered" glaze.
For finishing the ribs on the grill, preheat a grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a small charcoal fire to 1 side. If using a gas grill, fire up the "back burner" to a medium heat. You want heat and smoke but not direct flame that can cause the sugary glaze on the ribs to burn. Put the ribs on the grill away from and off of the "fire." Cover with the lid and stay near to the grill to manage any flare-ups and to brush the ribs with the sauce every 10 minutes. Cook for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven or grill and allow to rest for 15 minutes, then cut the slabs into ribs and serve.