Monday, 28 March 2011

Ribfest 2011

There is something quite special about ribs, especially ribs which are fall-off-the-bone tender and are smothered in a spicy sweet homemade barbecue sauce. I've always been partial to ribs but feel that they often have a bad reputation through those awful pre-marinated ones you can buy at Coles or Woolies.

Last year my brother introduced me to the most beautiful ribs I had eaten in years they were messy, sticky, gooey, spicy and sweet all at the same time. In short, I was in love. So after a lengthy discussion over how he made them and getting my hands on the recipe I played around with it and tweaked until I came up with something which in my eyes are the perfect ribs.

Just a disclaimer: I know that this looks like a lot of effort but believe me once you have done it one it becomes so simple to do and with one taste you will be hooked!

Pork Spare Ribs - Serves 8
Adapted from Masterchef Australia 

4kg american style pork ribs (the ones which come in the long racks but just cut them into 4 pieces)
Limes, to serve
Olive oil

Spice Rub

2T brown sugar
2T salt
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 onion finely chopped
2t dried oregano leaves
2t ground cumin
2t mustard powder
2t hot smoked paprika
2t hot chilli powder

Combine the spice rub ingredients in a bowl then massage the mixture into the ribs and place in the fridge overnight to marinate completely.

Once the ribs are marinated turn on the BBQ, drizzle some olive oil on the ribs and cook until they are sealed and have a beautiful crust.

Once the ribs are nicely sealed, place in a baking dish and heat the oven to 160 Celsius.

Barbecue Sauce

2C brown sugar
500mL malt vinegar
2t ground cinnamon
2t cumin
2t smoked paprika
4 bullet chillies (or less if you don't like things spicy but please just try it once with all the chilli, it's a whole different experience!)
2t hot chilli powder
2t mustard powder
4T tomato sauce
4T Dijon mustard
250mL bourbon
2 onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
4 bay leaves
the peeled rind of 2 oranges

Combine the above ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat and simmer for 15 mins. Pour the sauce over the ribs then cover with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 1.5 hours, turning the ribs every 30minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for a further hour turning the ribs every 20 minutes. You will see the ribs start to fall of the bone and that is when you know you have hit the jackpot.

To serve just squeeze a little lime juice over them. Heaven! Just don't forget copious amounts of serviettes...

mmmmmmm ribs....

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Bright Ideas

It just occurred to me that you could substitute the dates for dried figs which would be divine... Or make it with white chocolate, dried cranberries & pistachios... Or just dark chocolate & cashews... Or anything else at all you can think of! Just make sure that the ratios stay the same and you should be fine.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Well hello there world

I never really realised how difficult it is to find the right words to begin something like this with. Well one sentence down, shouldn't be too hard from here on in...

Call me lazy but the reason for this blog is so I can share my recipes with my family and friends and so I don't have to keep writing them down or emailing them!

I started taking an interest in cooking relatively late in my childhood when I realised that if I didn't like what my parents were feeding me (sorry Mum!) I should do something about it and make things that looked good to me. In true form I began to obsess over cookbooks, looking for a challenge, trying things out and seeing how I went. Surprisingly (especially for me!) my family didn't spit it out or drop dead. So from there cooking became like a challenge: Can I make my own pasta? Can I make bread? Can I make a rabbit ragu? What does a fresh truffle taste like? How can I cook with it?

I hope that you enjoy me sharing my kitchen with you.