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Honey Mustard and Cider-Marinated Spareribs



Country-style pork spareribs are one of those so-called lesser cuts of meat that benefit greatly from a little extra attention. They add all that tasty pork flavor to your dinner without the tenderloin price. This recipe is ideal for a weeknight because it’s simple and uses only a few ingredients. You come home from work, whip up the marinade, relax — or not — for an hour, and then you’re off to the pork sparerib races. Oh, and it’s also easily modified — you could always substitute apple juice, orange juice, or pineapple juice for the cider if you don’t have any on hand.


NOTE: I’m sure I don’t need to tell you — though I am about to do so just the same — that this marinade and sugar dusting would work just as well with chicken or other cuts of pork. For we like treatments that multitask, do we not?

Estimated cost for four: $7.56. The honey is $0.50 for 2 tablespoons. The Dijon mustard is $2.99 for 19 tablespoons, so that’s $0.32. The olive oil is $0.48 at $7.99 for 67 tablespoons. The apple cider is $2.99 for 8 cups, so ¼ cup is approximately $0.10. The spare ribs are $3.99 per pound, and 1 ½ pounds, that will run us $6.00 or so. The brown sugar is $0.04 per tablespoon, so $0.16 for our dusting here.


  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless country-style pork spareribs, 3/4-1-inch thick, approx. 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar


In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the honey, mustard, oil, and cider together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the spareribs in a large food storage bag or large shallow dish, such as a pie dish, cover with the marinade, and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 24 hours. You could get this going a night earlier and even speedier goes the meal.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Space the ribs evenly across the baking sheet. Sprinkle enough brown sugar to lightly cover the top of each rib. Bake until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees, 40-45 minutes, flipping the ribs over midway through the cooking time and sprinkling brown sugar over the top of that side as well. Once the ribs are done, do not be afraid to give each rib a swirl through the caramelized brown sugar that is sitting on the foil, and then serve them forth.