With the warm weather upon us, I am back into my dinner parties, and with that, – lots of summer foods for entertaining. I have found the easiest hack to make delicious BBQ pork ribs, this would easily rival any restaurant quality ribs. It takes barely minutes of hands-on preparation and the meat is achingly tender, and superbly flavourful. For the tastiest pork ribs, marinade the meat the night before, or for at least 4 hours.
Ask your butcher for whole rib racks. I purchase rib racks from Lims Orchard and Butcher at Glen Innes. The marinade is made primarily with Mrs HS Ball’s apricot and peach chutney (a tip from a South African friend), and I’ve added tomato paste for richness, and kicap manis for sweetness and colour. The proportions can be adjusted to your taste. Mrs HS Ball’s chutney is available at all Pak ‘n Save and New World supermarkets.
I cook two full rib racks for parties of up to 10 adults, if I’m serving another meat dish alongside and they are typically the first thing on the menu to go. If the ribs are your only meat dish, allow one rib rack for 3 people.
1 meaty pork rib rack (~1.3kg)
150mL Mrs HS Ball’s chutney (I prefer the original)
1 heaped tbsp tomato paste or 75mL tomato puree
50mL kicap manis (sweet soy sauce)
* large ziplock bag for marinating
Mix all the liquid ingredients until smooth. Place the ribs in an extra large ziplock plastic bag, or just a normal plastic bag. The large size Waitrose own brand ones at Nosh Glen Innes fit two full sized ribs perfectly. Rub the sauce into the ribs, and leave to marinade in the fridge overnight. I rub the marinade onto frozen ribs, and let them thaw overnight.
About 1½ hours before you’re ready to eat, preheat the oven to fan bake at 180°C. Put the ribs on a shallow tray and place into the oven. Save the remainder of the marinade for basting. Pour enough boiling water to cover at least half of the ribs. Bake the ribs for 1 hour, turning the ribs every 20 minutes. Baste the ribs with the marinade when you turn them.
The ribs will develop a deep golden colour. Cool for ~10 minutes, then cut into individual ribs. Pour the rich, caramelised sauce at the bottom of the pan over the ribs, and serve.