This recipe uses Thai and Indonesian ingredients, the results are fantastic. The best barbeque ribs we've ever made, thanks to the sauce which is added to the ribs at the end of cooking, then on the side as a dip. Just four ingredients make up the sauce, so this is a very simple recipe!
The recipe is featured in the July 2010 Fine Cooking Magazine, and ImportFood.com is the recommended supplier of kecap manis.
Let the ribs sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for indirect cooking over low (300°F) heat. We used mesquite charcoal on both sides of the barbeque, but nothing in the middle. Then we cooked our ribs in the middle which is away from direct heat. We also used an oven thermometer and the barbeque vents to maintain 300 degree temp. It takes a bit of adjustment. Close the lid as they're cooking.
Sprinkle the meat side of the ribs with 2 teaspoons salt. Arrange the ribs bone side down in a single layer over the cool zone of the grill. Close the lid and cook the ribs until tender, about 2 hours. To test if they’re done, insert a knife into the rib meat—if it slides out without pulling at the meat, they’re ready. The meat should be tender but not falling off the bone. Remove the ribs from the grill and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.
Increase the temperature of the indirect grill fire to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, mix the kecap manis, root beer, and both chili sauces. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce for serving. Brush the ribs on all sides with the remaining sauce. Return the ribs to the cool zone of the grill and cook, turning once, until nicely lacquered, about 15 minutes total.
Let the ribs rest, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving with the reserved sauce for dipping or for drizzling over the ribs.