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Pork spare ribs & BBQ sauce

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#1

Got a bit excited this morning and started cooking a load of pork spare ribs that were going for a song at our brilliant local farm shop - not much call for ribs in Winter apparently.

Seeing as I spent a bit of time on them and they turned out rather tasty, I thought I should share. Totally improvised, no recipe used, though along the lines of previous rib action. All quantities estimated as I don’t normally measure anything.

Three stage process:

1 - The Rub
First, always do this, which allows the flavour to penetrate:

INGREDIENTS
Obviously quantities depend on how many ribs are going in, but ratios are 1:1:1:1:1 of

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Brown sugar
    You can also add chilli (same ratio) at this stage, but I wanted my kids to eat this.

METHOD

  • Dry the ribs with kitchen roll
  • Mix together and rub onto the meat. Easiest way is to use an appropriately-sized re-sealable plastic bag, chuck in the ribs and rub and shake it about until the meat is covered.
  • Discard any rub that doesn’t stick
  • Leave in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Mine were in for 3 as it was all done today.

2 - The Slow Cook
I use an electric slow cooker, but a heavy-duty casserole in a low, low oven should be fine.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • Some garlic cloves (I used 3), chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed, ground (best if you roast and grind your own)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, ground (see mustard)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, ground (also see mustard)
    Spice quantities above flexible according to taste. I love cumin and again, to keep it mild for the kids I kept the mustard low
  • 1 can cider / perry
  • Generous squirt of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 grapefruit
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke
  • Unsalted stock (optional)

METHOD

  • Sweat down an onion with a little salt. Butter, olive oil, pig fat, up to you :slight_smile:
  • When the onion is soft add garlic for a few minutes
  • Add the ground spices, gently fry for a couple of minutes
  • Add the tin of cider / perry, when it’s finished foaming, add the other liquid ingredients except the stock, if using.
  • Put your ribs in the bottom of the slow cooker, then pour the liquid over the ribs.
  • You want the liquid to cover the ribs, so add water / stock as required.
  • Press low / put in the oven, for around 5 hours. You want the racks to stay on the bone, but the meat super tender, no chew.

3 - Saucy!

INGREDIENTS

  • Nothing else necessary, unless you want :smile:

METHOD

  • When tender, remove the ribs from the liquid and place on a flat tray.
  • Depending on your approach to food safety, you might want to keep them hot/warm
  • Activate oven / grill / BBQ. Fairly high heat
  • Put all the liquid in a saucepan, cook on high to start reducing.
  • The amount of time this will take depends on how much water / stock you added for the slow cooking
  • When the sauce is about 50-60% reduced, baste the ribs liberally with the liquid.
  • Keep reducing the sauce
  • Heat up the ribs with whatever heat sauce you chose.
  • Keep basting every 5 or 10 minutes, until you have two things:
  1. The sauce reduced to lovely thick consistency, coating the back of a spoon (you can blitz with a stick blender if you want to remove any onion texture)
  2. The ribs coated with a thick, slightly crusted sauce
  • When the sauce is finished, taste for last-minute seasoning. Whatever alterations you might want to add - sweet, piquant, spicy, salty or savoury should be judged on the final taste. If you do this before reducing it could be out of balance.
    Unless, of course you are a seasoned pro :man_cook::woman_cook:
  • Use all the remaining sauce for pouring, dipping, drinking, whatever

Be prepared to get messy and enjoy!


#2

Sounds gorgeous! Makes me want to go out and buy some ribs immediately and give your lovely recipe a go. Any wine recommendations or is a cold beer a better/easier match? Thanks!


#3

Well, I messed up because in my excitement for pork, I forgot that my wife had a couple of steaks out that needed to be eaten today!

Let’s just say the kids feasted well tonight, but very happy to report they were generous enough to leave a few scraps for me and Mrs B to get us past stories and through to our supper.

A splash of the Bin 003 from this weekend’s drinking thread worked very nicely indeed. Pronounced fruit and bright acidity a nice match for the rich, sweet pork.