There is something about the sunshine that brings with it the urge to get out the barbecue. When walking the dog on a summer evening the smell of cooking wafts though the air. The smells vary depending which garden you pass, everyone has their favourite barbecue dish. There is something primal about a barbecue. Cooking the meat on coals, eating food with your fingers and tearing meat off the bone with your teeth. These are all reminders of the days when we hunted meat.
Ribs are a classic barbecue dish. A speciality of barbecues in the deep south of America, cooked slowly in a hot pit until the meat is meltingly tender. Inexpensive and full of flavour they are an ideal dish for a crowd. Different sauces can be used to make ribs for all occasions.
My husband and son are great lovers of ribs. Salt and pepper ribs are a great favourite as are barbecue ribs. I decided to see if I could combine the two flavours into one. The result was salt and pepper ribs with barbecue sauce. They have the salty peppery flavour of salt and pepper ribs which combines nicely with the warm smoky tang of the barbecue sauce. The ribs make the perfect dish for a summer day served with coleslaw, potato salad or carrot and raisin salad.
To add the salt and pepper flavour to the ribs I made a rub from a combination of salt, black pepper, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, paprika and brown sugar. After rubbing this into the ribs I let them sit in the fridge for several hours to take on the flavour. If you have time leave them overnight.
To make the ribs meltingly tender they should be cooked slowly for a few hours. Leaving them in the oven on a low heat for five or six hours is ideal. While they cook you can make the barbecue sauce. Home made barbecue sauce is simple to make and the taste is much nicer. You know exactly what you have put into it and it will keep in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks. It will be eaten long before then as it tastes so nice.
Home made barbecue sauce is really easy to make. Just mix some pasata, balsamic vinegar, dark muscovado sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and orange juice to a pan with some crushed garlic and a little butter. I used Cirio pasata as its rich tomato flavour really adds to the taste of the sauce. Bring the contents of the pan to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. The sugar will dissolve and the sauce become glossy. Leave to cool and it is ready for use. The sauce is perfect for adding to burgers and other dishes as well as these ribs. It is worth the extra time to make the sauce yourself as it is more flavourful.
When the ribs are cooked you can brush the barbecue sauce onto them and cook for an extra half an hour in the oven or on the barbecue to add more flavour. Alternatively you can serve the sauce on the side and dip the ribs into them. Cooking the ribs longer after the sauce has been added gives them a tangy coating that works really well.
Why not pin the recipe to make later?
What is your favourite barbecue recipe? Let me know below.