Pre-cooking ribs is the secret to getting them fall-off-the-bone tender. Many people boil theirs, which I find awkward and messy; you also lose a lot of the flavour by boiling meat in a large pot of water. I prefer to pre-roast ribs on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven. Regardless of your recipe, try roasting them, tightly covered with foil, at 300˚F for 2- 2 1/2 hours. The ribs can then be brushed with sauce and finished on the grill, or crank up the oven and finish them there for a dark, sticky exterior. If you want to get a head start and roast them in advance, the pre cooked ribs can be kept, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days before finishing them off on the grill or in the oven.
Oven-Roasted Sticky Asian Ribs
1-2 racks side or back pork ribs
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar or honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice or cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the ribs meat side up on a rimmed baking sheet and cover the pan completely with foil. Bake for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender. (They can be made ahead up to this point, and then refrigerated for up to a day or two before you need them.)
Meanwhile, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Remove the foil and slather the ribs generously with barbecue sauce. Turn the oven up to 375F and roast for another 20-30 minutes, until sticky and golden. (The ribs could be finished on the grill, too.) Serve with rice and veggies.