Makahiki Ribs in Dark Rum BBQ Sauce

In much of the South Pacific, when the constellation Pleiades appears on the horizon in late October it marks Makahiki. It is the end of one year, beginning of a new one, and the return of Lono who brings the life giving rains. His symbol, a pole draped with white cloth, was carried from village to village and islanders would offer up their very best to honor him. I would have offered up this meal in a heartbeat! I mean who doesn’t like ribs, right?

These bits of magic are roasted, soaked in a mouth watering sweet chili-rum sauce, and then roasted again. The result is the meat almost jumps off the bone and into your mouth. They have a flavor richness that explodes like New Year’s fireworks and lingers like a perfect warm evening in Paradise. When you add in the yams and Asian salad, the meal becomes a tropical taste-fest that rolls and slides from warm and spicy, to tangy and smooth, and into the “pop” of citrus, apple cider, and a fresh garden (but only the green part of the garden because the dirt part…well…not so good). A meal worth celebrating. If you thought you couldn’t do rubs easily, try this recipe. Totally foolproof and totally delicious. I was going to go on with the “totally” thing, but I totally ran out of ideas.

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

14 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

14 cup  dark rum

12 cup  sweet chili sauce

2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

14 cup minced onion

1 teaspoon  mustard powder

14 teaspoon  cayenne pepper 

4 lbs pork spareribs

    (cut into serving-size pieces)

Cut ribs into serving size pieces

Wrap the ribs in heavy-duty foil and place in a roasting pan Place in the oven and bake for about 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Discard the foil and place the ribs back in the roasting pan and cool to almost room temperature (or cool enough to place in the refrigerator)

In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar,  ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, rum,  chili sauce, fresh garlic, minced onion and cayenne pepper.

Pour the sauce over the ribs, tossing to coat the ribs with the sauce.

Cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

Preheat the broiler

Broil for about 30-35 minutes, basting with marinade for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time. 

Tuneage (suggested listening)

Celebrating a new year should be looking forward to a new time, a new direction, and in keeping with celestial references.  “ A new moon and a new Sun” is a line from the music I offer top accompany this meal. It’s from one of my favorite singing surfers. Here’s link to check it out. From wherever you are to Paradise is always following the Sun.

Artist’s website

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