Dr. Pepper Pineapple Spare Ribs

June 17, 2008 § Leave a comment

I saw a recipe for spare ribs a while ago that uses Dr. Pepper (I drink Diet Dr. P all the time) and pineapple. I knew I had to try it because it was such an easy dish to prepare. Also it gave me another dish that I can cook in the Staub. I’m sure this dish would also do very well in a crockpot. I don’t recall exactly where I saw it so I apologize to the creator. Here’s my version of Dr. Pepper Pineapple Spare Ribs. I’ve done some minor adjustments to the original recipe and proportioned it for 2-3 people (it was plenty for the 2 of us for dinner). You can always double the recipe but check my notes regarding the amount of pineapple and such.

4-6 pork spare ribs*
1 medium yellow onion, diced (I used Vidalia onion but any yellow onion will do)
1 can (15.25 oz) pineapple chunks or tidbits in own juice**
1 (12 oz) can Dr Pepper (DO NOT use diet)
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste (Hunt’s recommended)
1 cup hot Pace Picante sauce***
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper


*I used ribs with bone in but boneless will do just as well. You can also trim off most of the fat since the meat will be cooking for a long time. I left the fat on since I like the extra tenderness of the meat with the fat.

** I used 1 can (15.25 oz) Del Monte pineapple which I thought gave the right sweetness to the dish. But note that some other brands, like Dole, only come in 8 oz and 20 oz cans. You can use 2 of the 8 oz cans and cut back the brown sugar by 1/4 cup (unless you like this dish very sweet). If you are doubling the recipe (8-10 spare ribs), then use 1 can (20 oz) of pineapple chunks or tidbits.

***The “hot” version of Pace Pacante isn’t all that hot but gave a very nice spicy flavor with mild heat. But if you want just a hint, you can use medium Pace Picante and if you absolutely cannot stand any heat, use the mild. If you want it really spicy, add Cayenne pepper or chili powder to taste.

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Trim the fat from ribs as desired. Arrange ribs in the bottom of a 4-5 quart Dutch oven (note that if you’re doubling this recipe, I recommend going with a 10″ Dutch oven or a pot that holds 7-8 quarts and can go into the oven).

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Sprinkle onions and pineapple evenly over ribs.

In a large bowl stir together the remaining ingredients including the reserved pineapple juice and pour over ribs. Cover Dutch oven and bake for 2.5 hours or until ribs are tender (fork tender). Turn and baste ribs at least once during the cooking time (after 1 hour in oven). I found that I didn’t have to baste mine at all since I had enough juice to cover all the ribs and the self-basting nubs of the Staub did my basting for me.

I served mine over white rice and it was really really good! The Mister gave a big thumbs up. I’m sure this would also go well with elbow macaroni. Might even be a 1-dish meal. Hmm, I’ll have to try that out.

I hope you like this as much as we did.

Postscript: I made this recently and served it over elbow macaroni. I liked it even better on elbows! Here’s a picture of it, as well as a close up of the rib meat (reminds me a bit of pulled pork).

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