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Mark Leppo's Famous BBQ Ribs Recipe

Mark Leppo is a busy, successful, and delightful real estate agent living in the Boston area, and when at home, is famous among friends and family for his incredible baby-back ribs. He and his wife take several vacations every year, and Mark has trouble sleeping on the plane. While returning home from one of his vacations recently, he joined me in the galley where I was working the red-eye from Los Angeles to Boston. Our conversation turned to food, and he told me about his ribs; he not only gave me the recipe, but was kind enough to give me permission to share it with you. The recipe for Mark Leppo’s Famous BBQ Ribs follows.
My only dilemma was to find the Ah-So® sauce, which has been a common staple in the Boston area for decades, but is virtually unheard of in other areas of the country. I searched online and found the sauce, ordered it, and cloned it for those of you who don’t happen to live around New England, or who don’t want to go through the hassle and expense of ordering it online. It was actually quite easy to clone, and several family members tasted both versions and pronounced them identical. The only ingredient that may not presently be on your pantry shelf is miso paste, which can be easily found at Oriental markets, larger grocery stores, and health food stores (usually in the refrigerated section near the wonton and egg roll skins). It can also be used in salad dressings, soups, and sauces, so this ingredient may become an oft-used staple in your refrigerator.

Whether you use the actual sauce or the cloned version (one of the racks pictured uses the clone and the other uses the real thing – I couldn’t tell them apart), these baby-backs are truly the best I have ever tasted - ultra tender, a little crispy, & perfectly flavored - and are reminiscent of those served at the old-style Chinese restaurants (circa 60s and 70s) where the food was American-Chinese and nobody was opposed to msg. Thanks Mark!

12 Servings

6 pounds baby back pork ribs, (two large racks)

1/2 cup honey
11 ounces Ah-So Barbecue Sauce
  1. Place the ribs in a large zip-type bag.
  2. Mix the honey and Ah-So sauce; pour over the ribs, seal, and massage the bag so that the sauce is distributed evenly.
  3. Let the ribs marinate in the mixture for an hour or so (or even overnight - whatever fits your schedule).
  4. Preheat oven to 325° (Mark bakes his at 300°, but mine took almost 3 hours at that temperature – second batch at the higher heat took less than 2 hours).
  5. Remove the ribs from the bag to a shallow baking dish or pan that can accommodate all the ribs.
  6. Pour some of the sauce from the bag over, and use a basting brush to make sure it covers all surfaces of the ribs.
  7. Bake 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until tender, basting with additional sauce every 20 minutes or so.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 725 Calories from Fat 454
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 63% Protein 23% Carb. 15%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 50 g
Saturated Fat 19 g
Cholesterol 201 mg
Sodium 855 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 10 g
Protein 41 g

Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 14%

Homemade Ah-So® Sauce

Ah-So Sauce is a Chinese-American style BBQ sauce, made by Allied Old English, Inc., Port Reading, New Jersey. It is mostly used to mimic the spareribs served in the old-fashioned Chinese restaurants. Ah-So is generally available only in New England and surrounding areas, but can be ordered online. This version is almost identical to the original.

3/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons miso paste

Gel or paste red food coloring
  1. Whisk together the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup.
  2. Microwave 3 minutes; stir, and microwave an additional 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is boiling and thickened.
  3. Stir in enough red food coloring to make a bright red clear sauce; cool.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 43 Calories from Fat 0
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 0% Protein 0% Carb. 100%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 284 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 0 g

Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 2%

If you’d rather order the sauce from Amazon, here is the link: Ah So Chinese Style Pork Chicken and Rib Sauce (11 oz Jars) 2 Pack
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Content copyright © 2015 by Karen Hancock. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Karen Hancock. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karen Hancock for details.


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