Waverley Ribs

Let me start off by introducing Jon. Jon and I have been best friends since we were kids, about 13 years now. Jon has 3 loves in his life: The Pittsburgh Steelers, Labatt 50 and food. Hmm, maybe that’s why we get along so well. Anyways, this week Jon and I have lived together for over a year now. Time has flown. After I graduated from Bishop’s, moving out of my parents’ house and into an apartment off Elgin Street downtown Ottawa with my best friend was the next logical step, right? Right. So Jon and I found a great spot on Waverley Street in Ottawa’s Centretown neighborhood, just off of the busting bar and restaurant filled Elgin Street. Needless to say, it’s been a fun year.

Another thing you need to know about Jon is that he’s not much of a chef. If it wasn’t for me, all he would eat would be fried egg sandwiches and Mac n’ Cheese. Nothing against those two delicious items, but I’ve tried to broaden the guy’s cooking horizon’s. We decided that every week we’d try a new recipe. And one week…oh that magical week, we came across this epic rib recipe. They were originally called “Sweet and Spicy Ribs”, but in honour of our friendship and our time in Centretown, we have lovingly renamed them “Waverley Ribs”.

Waverley Ribs, like any ribs, are a process. But that’s fine. I love being in the kitchen all day. All you need is some good tunes, that’s my philosophy. Music and cooking go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Okay, back to the ribs. One thing you should know about Jon and I, is that we like heat – a lot. About 80% of the condiments in our fridge are some sort of hot sauce. Our friends think we’re crazy. I think we’re awesome. Waverley Ribs are not unbearable though. They reach a great balance between the spicy rub and the sweet slather. Oh man, just writing about them makes my mouth water. So let’s get started.

Most people say that ribs aren’t ribs unless you BBQ them. I disagree, and I challenge you to say that after you try these. So let’s get started. Here’s what you’re going to need.


2 racks pork back ribs (2-2.5 kg total)
1 cup chicken broth


1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp crushed red chili flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Slather (Ooh I love that word, saucy)

½ cup fancy molasses
½ cup ketchup
3 large cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp cider vinegar

Okay – are you ready? Let’s do this.

Begin by arranging the rack to centre of oven; preheat to 350°F. Cut racks into section (thirds or halves) and fit into a dish or roasting pan, meaty side down. Pour broth over ribs. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, bake for 1 hour.

Remove ribs from pan to cool. Drain all the pan juices; keep them in the fridge or freezer. They are great in gravy, soups and pasta sauces. I have even frozen them and used them again for this recipe instead of the chicken broth. Okay, time for the rub. Before you start, increase the temperature to 400°F. Stir all of the rub ingredients together in a small bowl.

Pat dry ribs with a paper towel. Sprinkle the rub mostly on the meaty side of the ribs, and press them in.

Cut racks into single ribs and then prop rubbed ribs meaty side up against each other on a f0il-lined pan or baking sheet.


Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. While the ribs are baking, stir the molasses with ketchup, garlic, mustard and vinegar.


Once the baking process is done, remove the ribs and slather 1/3 of the sauce over the meaty side and return to oven for 5 minutes, uncovered. Then turn the ribs on their side, slather 1/3 more sauce and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Finally, turn ribs onto the other side and slather on the remaining 1/3 of the sauce, and return for a final 5 minutes.

Pile the ribs onto a plate and serve with your favorite beer. Jon chose Labatt 50 (of course) while I enjoyed mine with a crisp pint of Steam Whistle.

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