Barbecued some pork ribs for the first time ever this week, and was amazed at how easy it was to do! I actually discovered BBQ ribs pretty late in life. They were never a big thing growing up, and I ate them for the first time at a TGIF or something. I then had a life changing rack of ribs at a place called Hurricane in Sydney a few years ago, and simply knew I had to cook this some day.
Pork Ribs – 2 full racks (about 1 kg)
Sea Salt – 2 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Brown sugar – 2 tbsp
Paprika – 1 tbsp
Garlic powder – 3 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1.5 tbsp
Cumin powder – 1 tbsp
Black pepper – 1 tbsp
The BBQ sauce (makes about 300 ml of sauce):
Ketchup – 1.5 cups
Water – 1/2 cup
Brown sugar – 1/3 cup
Maple syrup – 1/4 cup
Apple cider vinegar – 2 tbsp
Worcestershire sauce – 2 tbsp
Jack Daniels Whiskey – 60 ml
Garlic powder – 1 tbsp
Onion powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Black pepper – 1 tbsp
Fridge magnet – 0
The first thing to do, is to marinate the ribs and banish them to the depths of your refrigerator for a bit. Wash the ribs, pat dry and remove the tough white papery membrane from the underside of the ribs. If you do not do this, the flavour wont enter the meat and you will have a tough white papery membrane on the underside of the ribs. There’s a way to do this. Slip your knife between the membrane and the bone, get a good grip on the membrane and peel it back towards you. It’s a lot like getting my better half to watch yet another Transformers movie. Will protest at first but will eventually come.
Mix the dry ingredients well, till you have a spice rub situation going on in the tray, and then liberally dust the pork with the mixture. Rub the spices into the ribs and seal the tray with foil. You can use a box or a ziplock bag or whatever. It doesn’t really matter. I am a logistical genius, so marinated the meat in the same tray that I was going to cook in. I let the ribs sit overnight in the fridge. You can leave it even longer if you like.
Take the ribs out of the fridge at least 20 min before you’re ready to cook. They need to come back to room temperature before they go into the oven. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C and slip in the tray. Roast away to glory for 2 hours.
Time to start on the sauce –
Dump all the ingredients into a pan and place on medium heat. Mix well and simmer for 35 – 40 min. Check seasoning. Make sure you don’t salt it too much. Remember that the ribs have a fair amount of salt on them already.
Once the sauce is done, set it aside to cool and figure out what to do with the rest of the time. I went and finished the final level in Far Cry Primal – a charming Xbox game set in the Stone Age, that requires you to tame sabretooth tigers and throw spears and whack other cave people in the head with a club. Very relaxing.
Wait for your oven to go ding, and take the ribs out. Once out, remove the foil and carefully transfer the ribs onto a BBQ grill. If you’ve got a charcoal grill – great. If not, don’t worry. It’ll still taste awesome. Now, over medium heat, liberally brush the homemade BBQ sauce onto the ribs. I recommend using a nice silicon brush to do this. Paint the ribs like a Rembrandt and let them start getting nice and sticky. Give them about 4 min on each side and they’ll really get nicely done and grill marks will appear. Don’t let the heat get too high, though. The racks should not start falling apart on the grill.
Transfer the racks carefully to the cutting board and use a sharp knife to separate each rib. Arrange on a platter, sprinkle some chopped chives or spring onions on top and serve with extra sauce on the side.
This is an incredibly fun thing to eat and my dear friends all survived the experiment. You can do with beef too, if pork isn’t your thing. Feel free to tweak the amount of sauce you make. The recipe actually makes a lot more sauce than you need for this much meat, so bottle it up and chuck it in the fridge. You can use it on chicken wings / burgers / bisibelebhath later.
Btw, you can still make this if you don’t have a BBQ grill. Simply finish them in the oven without the foil on top and you’ll be set.
Over and out!