When we stayed in Ibiza this Summer, our friends introduced us to a lovely local cafe which made traditional Ibicencan food. We delighted in lamb casseroles, chicken wings, tortillas and ribs and let’s not forget the bakery. I’ve never liked ribs but these were something else and my daughter became an instant, carnivorous fan.
Needless to say, with Ibiza being what it is, I was easily distracted and forgot to ask the owners of the cafe for the recipe but I did set myself the task of recreating the dish when I got home.
Four months later, I still hadn’t bitten the bullet. In my defense, I had been hunting around for recipes for slow roast ribs to recreate that holiday feeling but all I had been able to find were copious amounts of recipes for Chinese sticky ribs or American style barbecue ribs. As with all foodie searches online, I tend to look around for several weeks and look at various foodie blogs and web sites which have a unique approach to cooking. Many web sites are pretty generic. What I did discover was that slow cooking means slow, allspice seemed popular (and this was one of the memorable aromas from our Ibicencan ribs), broiling is a no-no and let’s forget packet mixes but not foil for sealing in flavour during the arduous baking time.
So armed with all this knowledge, I decided to brave it, ditch the recipe boards and go it alone. And here’s my array of spices and other magic goods which I used to create the flavouring for the ribs.
The house was full of mouth watering aromas as the ribs cooked and they’re the perfect antidote to dark winter evenings. They are also delicious, the meat virtually melted in the mouth straight off the bone when we finally got to eat.
And here’s how they turned out. Not bad for a first try.
This recipe is for Chrissie and Andy – try it if you dare
- 6 pork ribs
- 2 tsps smoked paprika
- 1 tsp anis en grano (or three / four star anise)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- 2 tbsp vermouth
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- large pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp all spice
- 100ml chicken stock (dissolve a full cube)
- 6 garlic cloves chopped in half
- 1 red onion roughly chopped tip to base
Place the ribs in a baking dish and rub them with the spices and liquid (adding the chicken stock once this is done)
Place the garlic and onion and garlic in the dish and cover tightly with foil.
Put the dish in the oven at 100 C for five hours while taking care to turn the ribs in the liquid every 45-60 minutes.
Next remove the foil and whack up the heat to 170C for 60-90 minutes to boil down the liquid and crisp up the ribs and voila, you’re done. Set the ribs aside before eating but leave them in the cooking juice until serving.
These work really well with over sized parmentier potatoes (parboil and roast with a sprinkling of olive oil, garlic and smoked paprika) and a slew of green veg. There’s a lovely jus left from the cooking stock, the garlic is soft and the red onion caramelised so don’t waste it, slather them over the potatoes. This recipe serves two and sticky fingers are part of the deal. Red wine optional.
In the meantime I’m going to work on a quicker version…but there’s nothing that beats recreating holiday memories when it’s bloody cold in London!
Note: George Galloway, a much more controversial MP appeared on Celebrity Big Brother to generate awareness of himself was not suspended.
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