IT is official! I am on a quest to find the tastiest ‘southern cuisine’. And thanks to this rigorous endeavour to find the best taste from America’s deep south – last Sunday saw me arms deep in a large plate of sticky BBQ ribs and fiery chicken wings.
Would any of us consider turning up to the butchers and asking for a handful of baby back ribs? Probably not. But when I show you how easy they are to cook and how tasty they are to eat, you will be racing to your local butcher faster than a hungry Sally Pearson.
BBQ food has always been the holy grail of backyard cuisine here, and in many parts of the world. Every culture has its own unique techniques, sauces, spices and versions of the BBQ. Us Aussies have learnt a thing or two about BBQ’s with all the travelling we have done – bringing back techniques and flavours to the homeland. We have even moved on from our traditional flat BBQ plate and now use the grill – slow cooking with skill and confidence to produce tasty dishes from the cheaper cuts of meat and fish.
BBQ ribs are both tender and succulent when prepared correctly. Today’s recipe uses pork baby back ribs – bite size ribs that mean we don’t have to wrestle large chunkier versions – which inevitably makes this fantastic dish more appealing. If pork is not your favourite choice of meat, ask the butcher for alternatives. Beef short ribs are always available and can be cooked and marinated in the same way.
Marinating your ribs overnight will add plenty of flavour and a spicy kick to your dish. Once you get them home, take a bowl or tray big enough to hold your ribs and smother them in your favourite marinade. Creating your own signature marinade is both rewarding and gives you boasting rights if you pull it off. Don’t be afraid to try the smokey, peppery African spices or Indian masarla rubs instead of our homegrown Asian flavors. Your options are endless and the more you experiment the better you will become at blending flavours. One good tip is to ask around at work, or mates from different cultures and backgrounds, for some ideas or advice. You will be surprised at what you can learn for free. Or for a pint of their favourite bevy. So let’s get cracking on this week’s recipe of marinated BBQ baby back ribs. Happy cooking and enjoy!
BBQ pork baby back ribs
What you need:
2kg of baby back ribs
2 cups sliced onions
2 cups ketchup
2 cups water
2 pinches of dried chili
1 squeezed lemon
4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons dry mustard
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine onions, ketchup, water, salt, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and mustard. Split the ribs down the center between the bones.
- Heat a large lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Add ribs and sear until browned. This may have to be done in several batches.
- Place ribs in a single layer in two baking pans or casserole dishes. Pour half of the sauce over the ribs, reserving the remainder.
- Bake ribs in preheated oven for 3 hours. Turn and baste meat every twenty minutes with remaining sauce, using all sauce by two hours. Continue turning and basting ribs using sauce in the pan during the last hour of baking.