1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Season the ribs well with salt and pepper. In an ovenproof casserole, brown the ribs well in batches in the oil over medium-high heat; remove to a plate. Remove all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat from the casserole. Add the onion and wilt over low heat, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding the garlic in the last 3 minutes.
3. Return the ribs to the casserole atop the veggies.
4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Toss them with the ribs. Reduce temperature to 350°F and immediately place the casserole, covered, in the oven. Bake the ribs, basting and stirring them around occasionally, until they are tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
5. Remove the casserole from oven and transfer ribs to a plate. Strain the gravy through a gravy separator to remove the fat (or skim it off with a spoon). Return the ribs to the casserole, cover with the defatted gravy and reheat before serving. (If you like, remove the meat from the bones and discard bones before reheating.) To spice it up, serve with lots of gravy and Tabasco sauce.
Serves 8. Per serving: 300 calories, 1g carbohydrate, 28g protein, 19g fat, 80mg cholesterol.
Serve with freshly made Jicama Slaw