Thank you all for your replies to this topic, I wanted to make a couple of comments before I get to the ribs.
Some people had mentioned smoking/grilling the ribs here. I do not own a grill and wanted opinions on oven cooking. I have plenty of recipes on finishing ribs on the grill after the oven or vice versa but I thank you for the additional insight.
Also, I noticed some people talking about baby back ribs here. I used a full size slab of untrimmed pork spareribs, much larger and harder to work with. Baby backs probably don't need to be marinaded as they are tender enough, but I think the full size ribs can use it as they are less tender.
For those who wanted to know about the ribs:
The ribs did indeed come out tender, fall-off-the-bone using #2 method. Howver, the cola flavor, while tangy and unique, clashed on my palette with the taste of the pork. (your mileage may vary). With fall fast approaching the northeast, I'm considering using apple cider as my next marinade
Here is the way I went about it:
4-5lb. side of pork spareribs.
1x2liter+2x12oz. can of Coca-Cola<the real thing, not store brand>.
Placed them in a container large enough to hold them, covered them with the cola and let them sit in the fridge for about 24 hours. I pulled them out, reserved 2 cups of the marinade for the braising liquid and discarded the rest. I patted them dry and then put a dry rub on them consisting of the following:
crushed red pepper
This is a blend I bought from Penzey's Spice called Galena St. Chicken and Rib Rub. As I am not always content with using stuff "straight out of the box(or bag in this case)" and like to tweak things a bit, I added the following:
a little brown sugar.
some onion powder.
some garlic salt.
(amounts vary according to the chef's personal whims)
Rubbed both sides generously, massaging it into the meat(I think that is important IMHO) and wrapped in plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for another 12-16 hours to season. Took them out and put them in a large roasting pan with the following braising liquid:
2 cups reserved cola.
1/4 cup red wine vinegar.
2 Tbls. soy sauce.
2 Tbls. worcestershire sauce.
1 Tbls. honey.
4 cloves garlic, smashed.
2 lg. onions, sliced.
juice of 2 lemons.
I laid some of the onions in the roasting pan first the give the ribs a little "lift" while cooking. I also put 1 of the cut lemons in as well after squeezing the juice from it. Covered tightly with foil and baked for 3-3 and 1/2 hours at 250 degrees. When the meat starts to shrink from the bones and expose the tips, you'll know they're done. Pulled them out of the roasting pan and laid them on a foil covered baking sheet to cool slightly so I could handle them. Sprinkled them with some more rub and placed them under the broiler till they started to sizzle.
At this point, I was too tired to make a homemade bbq sauce (I can hear the purists gasping now
) and used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ sauce which imparted a nice, sweet and tangy flavor that was unfortunaly subdued at times by the cola flavor. I basted both sides a couple of times till they started getting carmelized and sticky from the browning. Pulled them out and let them rest for about 15 mins. I cut them up and served them with southern style green beans, cornbread and smashed red bliss potatoes.
A few of my observations:
I won't use cola again as a marinade due to the flavor clash.
The ribs are by no means hot and spicy, I may "kick it up a notch" next time to lessen the sweetness factor.
Make sure I have some long handled tongs or a couple of smaller ones to handle the meat without pulling the bones out after cooking in the braising liquid. I popped a couple of them out while trying to use 1 set of short tongs.
Make a homemade BBQ sauce next time
I hope you all enjoyed my story. Any comments, questions or general insight is always appreciated.