Place ham hocks in a stockpot large enough to hold them, leaving 4 inches of room at the top of the pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer over a medium flame. Skim all the foam off the top. Reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming occasionally for 8 to 10 hours.
Strain the stock carefully, as the hock meat will be falling off the bone. Reserve the hock meat for other uses.
Use a paring knife to peel the silver skin off the inside of the ribs. Bring the ham hock stock, the vegetables and the cinnamon sticks to a simmer over a medium low flame. Add the beef short ribs and simmer 20 minutes.
Add the spareribs and baby back ribs, then simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour longer, or until the ribs are very tender.
Carefully remove the ribs from the stock and season on both sides with salt and pepper while hot. Save the stock to reduce for barbecue sauce for other uses.
When the ribs come to room temperature, brush with your favorite barbecue sauce. Refrigerate until barbecue time.
Preheat oven to 400° F or fire up your charcoal grill. Cook the ribs, basting occasionally until the meat is hot and falling off the bone.Makes 6 to 8 Source: