Recipe VICKI RAVLICH-HORAN | Images BRYDIE THOMPSON
Back in my university days, I worked in a Tex Mex restaurant that served the best pork ribs. From then on, every rib experience is measured against these and sadly most don’t live up to expectations. There are a number of reasons for this, namely the poor-quality ribs to begin with and the cooking method.
I believe to get fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-the-mouth ribs you need to cook them slowly first. Some people do this by simmering them in a stock, but I have found this is often too harsh and the best results are in a low (130°C) oven.
Then once pre-cooked you can slather them in your favourite sauce and sear them on the BBQ for some down and dirty lip-smacking, finger-licking ribs.
I used St Louis pork ribs from Expleo, which are cut from the belly of the pig giving you meatier ribs. They also have a layer of fat which adds lots of flavour. This is a favoured cut of low and slow BBQ fans as they suit beautifully a lovely, long, smoky cook.
1.5kg (approx 2 racks) St Louis ribs
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp chopped thyme
2–3 cups apple cider (alternatively you can use apple juice, chicken stock or just water
Pat the ribs dry and rub all over with the salt, pepper and thyme. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour before placing in a large oven tray with 2 cups of cider. Cover loosely with foil and cook at 130°C for 3–4 hours. After 2 hours check and add more liquid if needed.
Once the ribs are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool.
Generously slather the cooked ribs with the BBQ sauce and cook fat side down first on the BBQ until warmed through and golden. Slice the ribs down the bone and serve with more BBQ sauce.
This basic BBQ sauce comes from the King of BBQ
1½ cups tomato sauce
½ cup water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
¼ cup white vinegar
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Place all the ingredients into a small pot and heat. Bring to a simmer and then take off the heat.
Chargrilled Corn and Zucchini Salad
4 cobs of corn
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp sugar
pinch ground black pepper
½ cup basil
½ cup mint
½ cup chives
Cut the zucchini on the angle into 1cm thick slices. Husk the corn and chargrill both on the BBQ. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, salt and black pepper. Roughly chop or tear the herbs and stir into the dressing.
Cut the corn into 2cm pieces and toss these and the zucchini in with the dressing and herbs. Serve on a generous platter at room temperature.