David Sespare Ribs

Americana Week, Main

Picture it, Christmas, Macy’s, 1991. Annelie had just been cast as Santa and I had successfully made the cut as a Christmas Elf after the casting director noted that he had “never seen a man so small and light in his loafers.”

It was the same year that Dave Sedaris made his triumphant debut as Crumpet the Elf (I went by the name of Twerk and inappropriately gyrated in the back of photos, inventing twerking). The three of us quickly formed the instant, unbreakable bond that can only come from working a Christmas in retail, having to endure the true horror that is the general population.

We spent the time threatening customers, warring with rival elves and trying to woo the sexy-Santa; it was glorious.

Following our time at Macy’s, we briefly travelled around with Dave working in orchards, picking up litter and hitch-hiking, before Annelie and I left him to flourish while we headed back to LA to scam some celebrities and avoid real work.

Despite his success and penchant to work hard, he has always admired our hustle and lack of work ethic, and we in turn admire him for that.

We dropped in to New York on the way to Washington and thought we should catch up with Dave and his sister Amy, in the hope that we could steal his latest manuscript and hock it as our own and get a voice role on BoJack Horseman as our relationship with Will Arnett has soured without Ames (Poehler) constantly requesting he give us another chance.

To sweeten the deal/bribe them, we decided to make some all-American David Sespare Ribs.


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All together smokey, sweet and with a kick of heat, these are quite possibly the best ribs you can make … other than the ones you “made” by purchasing them from the Rammer Jammer.


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David Sespare Ribs
Serves: 4-6

1 x 1.5kg – 2kg rack BBQ ribs
2 cups apple juice

Dry rub
4 tablespoons smoked paprika
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons celery salt
2 teaspoons chipotle chilli powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt flakes

Grilling sauce
2 cups of your favourite barbecue sauce
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup apple juice

Combine all dry rub ingredients. Rub over rack of ribs and refrigerate, covered, for at least three hours or overnight.

When it is time to cook, preheat oven to 140 C. Place ribs in roasting tray with ½ cup of apple juice, cover tightly with foil. Roast for 3 hours, topping up apple juice every hour, until fork tender.

Meanwhile, combine cinnamon sticks and apple juice in saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently until reduced by half. Remove cinnamon stick and stir in salt and pepper.

Generously cover ribs with barbecue sauce. Grill under high heat for 5 minutes or until dark and sticky.

6 thoughts on “David Sespare Ribs

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