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- 4 bottle root beer
- 1 c. Asian fish sauce
- 1 head garlic
- 1/4 c. black peppercorns
- 2 large shallots
- 16 c. ice
- 2 rack pork spare ribs (about 5 pounds each)
- 1 bean vanilla
- 2 tbsp. finely ground long pepper (see Note) or black pepper
- 1/4 c. fresh lime juice plus lime wedges
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2 bottles of the root beer to a boil with the fish sauce, garlic, cracked black peppercorns, and shallots. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 25 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a large roasting pan and add the ice. Add the rib racks, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C Remove the ribs from the marinade and scrape off most of the solids. Transfer the ribs to a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 2 hours, until the meat is very tender but not falling off the bones.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 bottles of root beer with the vanilla bean and seeds and long pepper and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 25 minutes.
- Add the lime juice and simmer for 2 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean.
- Light a braai . Grill the ribs over high heat until richly browned, about 4 minutes per side.
- Transfer the racks to a carving board and cut in between the ribs. Serve the ribs with lime wedges, passing the root beer sauce at the table.