I absolutely love ribs. There’s the way the meat falls away from the bone (if they are properly cooked), the flavour of the marinade and that immense satisfaction that comes from eating with your hands and making something of a mess!
It also reminds me of my childhood when we used to drive up to Harare (the big city) from the farm where I grew up and after all the business was done, as a special treat we’d go out for lunch or dinner to a Greek restaurant called The Acropolis. I don’t ever remember seeing a menu (though surely they must have had one). All I remember is tucking into piles of ribs and leaving full and happy, with clothes covered with rib sauce! Oh and that their chips were really good, too.
Since then I’ve tasted ribs in many different places (including the three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy). And I’ve cooked them lots of different ways, too – they are so versatile they lend themselves to a myriad of flavours and cooking styles.
This is my latest recipe, using Sainsbury’s tamarind paste as the main flavour. The key here is to cook the ribs really slowly on a low temperature. The meat should just fall away when you pull at it.
I served the ribs with new potatoes and spinach, nice simple flavours to go with the tangy tamarind, and zesty ginger and lemongrass.
1 rack of pork ribs
3tsp Sainsbury’s chopped lemongrass
2tsp Sainsbury’s chopped ginger
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3tbsp ketchup manis (Indonesian soy sauce)
200ml white wine
2tsp Sainsbury’s tamarind paste
Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour over the ribs into a roasting tray. Make sure they get a good covering. Cover and marinate overnight.
Heat the oven to 120C. Place the roasting tray in the oven, covered tightly with foil, for about 2 hrs. Check and baste the ribs every 20 minutes or so.
Serve with new potatoes and spinach.