Welcome to all about food. This is no time for standing in the kitchen so let’s get the value out of our barbecues!
I have always enjoyed barbecues and I am keen to improve my skills. My main problem is spare ribs. No matter how hard I try I always seem to end up with very dry meat or burnt bones! Is there a secret to getting them right?
Done right, spare ribs will make you king of the barbeque!
Get the ribs from your local butcher, this way you can ensure the ribs are prepared correctly.
Your butcher, for example, will remove the silver type skin from the underside of the bones – this membrane is chewy and it will block the marinade, tenderising the meat.
The ribs need to be well seasoned and the marinade not overly sweet – sweet marinades often stop the true meat flavours from shining through.
Finally, low and slow works best. Roasting the ribs before finishing on the barbeque will break down the collagen transforming the meat to fall-off-the–bone-luscious-ribs.
Barbeque spare ribs
Serves 4, probably with leftovers
2 kg of pork rib racks, trimmed by your butcher.
For the marinade: 5 teaspoons of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of fresh thyme, finely chopped
A handful of fresh rosemary, finely chopped and the zest and juice of 2 oranges. 1 bulb of garlic, crushed and chopped
6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
200ml of ketchup
8 tablespoons of olive oil
Place the ribs in a large baking tray. Rub the smoked paprika into each rib and set aside.
In a pestle and mortar grind the cumin seeds and cloves with sea salt and black pepper. Place the cumin and clove mix in a large bowl with the orange zest, rosemary, thyme and the garlic. Mix together and add the vinegar, orange juice, ketchup and olive oil.
Pour the marinade over the meat, rubbing the sauce over each rib. Cover and keep in the fridge overnight. The next day, take the tray from the fridge one hour before cooking – the ribs cook best from room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180ºc and bake the ribs, covered in foil, for an hour and a half. (When the ribs are roasting, light the barbeque and bring to a medium heat - too high and the marinade will burn).
Remove the ribs from the oven and allow to cool slightly before placing on the barbeque. Sear the ribs on one side then turn. Using a brush, rub the juices from the roasting tray over the meat, turning and brushing the meat as it colours.
Once sticky and slightly charred remove the ribs from the heat and allow to rest for a few minutes. Serve with fresh limes, salsa and cool beer.
Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutneys made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.
Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Tipperary Star, Friar Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary.
You can follow gingergirl’s on Twitter – under gingergirlfood or on Facebook – under ‘gingergirl’.
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