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Gluten-Free Austrian Ribs with the works!

As a rule, Oktoberfest is all about the beer, but not in my eyes, as I love feasting on pub fare, which goes so well with beer or strong apple juice served in humongous mugs, smacked on the wooden benches in front of my favourite dish – Austrian ribs with all its condiments – crispy potato wedges, pickled peppers and the most insane garlic sour cream dipping sauce that compliments the wedges and ribs.

My recipe is pretty close to the real thing using my homemade caraway and apple spice rub plus cooking the ribs “low and slow” for the most succulent, fall-of-the-bone, tender ribs you could wish for.

If you plan to serve them up at a BBQ, these can be made in advance in the oven and simply finished off directly over some hot coals on both sides to give them a more crisp appearance and smoky BBQ flavour.

What pork cut should I use for this recipe?

Baby back pork ribs are the best ribs to use. These come from the part of the ribs that are connected to the backbone, beneath the loin muscle, and are curved where they meet the spine. These are called babies due to them being shorter than standard spare ribs.


Adobe photo of gluten-free austrian ribs laid over potato wedges with garlic sour cream and bbq sauce on the side
What ingredient is used to make it “Austrian”?

Austrian ribs are sold across the country from the ski slope huts to Vienna’s many beer gardens and taverns. What sets them apart from other ribs, is the addition of caraway seeds and apple puree. Caraway seeds, either whole or ground are used extensively in many Austrian recipes and give a distinct flavour to the ribs.

With our current Corona restrictive situations, it is a distant memory enjoying a meal and a drink in a crowded marquee with hundreds of thirsty and hungry “Oktoberfesters”, but at least the food can be replicated in your home…why not have an Oktoberfest occasion with your friend/family “bubble”. Buy one of the many “gluten-free” beer or ciders available and get busy making these ribs. Hopefully, you will all be singing and dancing. Preferably in your lederhosen or dirndl, but under the circumstances, pyjamas or tracksuits will do!

Gluten-Free Austrian Ribs with the works!

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
These Austrian-style baby back ribs require no marinating, just a generous dry rub of homemade Austrian rib seasoning and "low and slow" cooking in an apple barbecue mix. The ribs are succulent and falling off the bone after two to three hours.
Serve them with crispy potato wedges, garlic sour cream sauce, more barbecue sauce and a decent mug of beer!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Austrian, Barbecue
Servings 6


Homemade Austrian Rib Spice Rub

  • 4 tbsp caraway seeds, whole or ground
  • 4 tbsp sweet unsmoked paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp white pepper


  • 4 Granny Smith apples or any variety of green apples available
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder


  • 6 baby-back pork ribs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 350 ml store-bought or homemade apple sauce
  • 1 litre clear or cloudy apple juice or stock of your choice
  • 200 ml store-bought barbecue sauce (check for gluten ingredients)
  • 2 tsp sea salt to season the ribs once cooked


  • 500 g potatoes, unpeeled, cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1 tbsp store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour


  • 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 250 ml sour cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh chives, finely sliced or snipped


  • Several pickled whole peppers
  • barbecue sauce


Homemade Austrian Rib Spice Rub

  • Mix all the rub ingredients together in a medium bowl. If using whole caraway seeds, grind them to a fine powder and add them to the rest of the spice rub ingredients. Keep them whole if you prefer and don’t mind the texture. Set aside.

Homemade Apple Sauce (optional)

  • Peel, core and cut the apples into chunks.
  • Add the apple chunks to the water in a small saucepan.
  • Mix in the brown sugar, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon powder.
  • Cover and cook the apple mixture over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the apples are soft enough to mash.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the apple mixture until smooth. Set aside.

Cooking the Ribs

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F.
  • Brush olive oil on the base of a deep-sided roasting pan and place the rib slabs meat side facing up directly in the pan side by side and on top of each other.
  • Using disposable gloves, rub in the apple sauce, massaging well into each side of the ribs. Allow any excess apple sauce to fall to the bottom of the pan.
  • Rub the spice rub mixture into each rib. Ensure that the ribs are meat-side up when the mixture is rubbed in.
  • Pour half of the apple juice/stock around the ribs.
  • Cover the roasting pan with foil and position it in the centre of the oven. Cook for one hour.
  • Remove the ribs from the oven and add the other half of the apple juice/stock. Cover and return to the oven to cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove the ribs from the oven and increase the temperature to 180°C/350°F.
  • Brush the ribs on both sides with the barbecue sauce and brush any sauce that is at the bottom of the pan around and on top of the ribs.
  • Return the ribs uncovered to the oven on the lowest shelf for a final 30 minutes.
  • Once the ribs look nicely browned and slightly charred on the edges, remove them from the oven, immediately sprinkle each rib with salt and cover them with foil to keep warm.


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Clean the potatoes well, pat them dry with paper towels and cut them into wedges.
  • Add the potatoes and olive oil to a baking tray. Mix together until the oil has fully coated all the potatoes. Add more oil if needed.
  • Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Add the seasoned flour to the potatoes and mix well to coat them.
    potato wedges dressed in olive oil and seasoned on a roasting tray precooked
  • Roast the potato wedges for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
    potato wedges dressed in olive oil and seasoned on a roasting tray cooked
  • Taste and season more if necessary


  • Mix all the garlic sour cream sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature just before serving or chill until needed.


  • These ribs need long or big plates or wooden boards to accommodate the meal. Start by placing the potato wedges first, then top them with a slab of ribs.
  • Pour the garlic sour cream sauce and the barbecue sauce in separate small bowls to place next to the ribs.
  • A traditional Austrian side is to serve pickled peppers.
  • Don't forget plenty of napkins and finger bowls!


  • Cooked ribs & the sides keep for 3 days chilled
  • Ribs are suitable to freeze raw or cooked
Keyword gluten-free austrian, gluten-free ribs
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