Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Sticky Ribs

November is a busy birthday month for us; we mark the birthdays with a combined birthday BBQ around the time our youngest, Jack, has his birthday. This year he will be five years old and he wants only one thing – “stick meat!”.

Everyone who has been to one of our BBQs knows what stick meat is and I am guessing you can imagine what it is.

When Beau (now 12) was a little guy, around 3, I cooked some delicious wild pork ribs on the BBQ; after the meat was eaten off, he sat there with the clean bone and announced he had eaten the meat off the stick and could he please have more stick meat. The name stuck and from that day to this, that is how ribs have been known.

I am really lucky for lots of reasons and one of those is that my husband is an excellent hunter. In the freezer I have wild pork, venison and goat ribs – they are all delicious.

All the meat recipes I share with you are cooked with wild meats, but you can use meat from the store if you have not got access to the same meats I use.

Venison cooks like beef and goat cooks like lamb or mutton. Wild pork needs a longer cooking time than its domestic equivalent.

There is one really important thing to remember with ribs – cooking time. If you decide just before dinner time to have a BBQ, ribs will not work (unless you have some precooked in the freezer). The meat on the ribs can be some of the tenderest or the toughest you will ever eat. The reason for the tough stuff is the connective tissue that holds the muscle to the bone – that tissue takes time to break down and is the reason why they have a long, slow cooking time. I like to cook my ribs in fruit juice before finishing on the BBQ because the acidity of the juice will help break down those tough fibres. I always start my ribs in the morning so I have no time pressure – they take as long as they take and rushing them will only end in tough meat and sore jaws.

The recipe this week also includes my homemade bbq sauce. You can exchange this for a store-bought product, but it will not taste as awesome as something you have made yourself, from scratch.
Kia makona, Mawera Karetai x
  • 2 racks of ribs – any animal will do (goat or pork are my favourite)
  • 300mls fresh orange or apple juice
Dry Rub:
  • 2 Tblsp of good quality smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 2 Tblsp of fennel seeds
  • 5 while cloves
  • black pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, remove leaves from stalks
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, remove leaves from stalks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
Sticky BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 clove of garlic finely crushed
  • 150mls tomato sauce
  • 150mls sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Put all your dry ingredients in a pestle and mortar and grind. Rub into your racks of ribs and place in a large baking tray. Sprinkle the thyme and rosemary over the meat. Pour over the juice and cover tightly with foil. Cook in oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.

While your ribs are cooking, combine all the ingredients for your BBQ sauce.

Once the meat is cooked, heat your BBQ to smoking hot, and douse your ribs in homemade sauce, then BBQ until sticky and delicious.

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