Last week I recounted how Lucy Tweed’s super greens pie unleased the green-eating monster in my son. Well, it’s fair to say that the sticky ribs monster never needs unleashing. Unless you’re a staunch vego, sticky ribs are always a bloody good idea.
Let me just say that when I made these sticky ribs during the week, I skipped the “cut away the fine membrane layer” step that Lucy suggests. I honestly just couldn’t be bothered at the time. The marinade still penetrated throughout the meat like a champ. It’s possible they would have been even tastier with the membrane thing gone, but I can’t see how. These were already lip-smackingly good ribs that melted off the bones.
You know it’s a good dinner when the kids shut up for the duration. This was one of those blissful meals where the only sound was contented smacking and the occasional “are you done with that?” from the Italian husband. Like Lucy’s fam, he was raised on bones. He’s a cruncher.
Do buy Lucy’s book from Booktopia (it’s tasty 25% off right now, I don’t know how long for). Not a single recipe has disappointed me so far. The cherry tomato tart was made only yesterday by my middle and the tacos (minus the pineapple salsa) by the youngster and both were also the absolute bomb. Yes, the kids are cooking! All hail our new queen Tweed!!!!
Sticky ribs and foil spuds
From Every Night of the Week by Lucy Tweed
I am a bone cruncher, licker, chewer. I got that from Mum. To my horror, Mum once absent-mindedly collected the discarded chicken wings off my boyfriend’s plate to finalise the tendon and cartilage chewing that he had so casually abandoned. Just now, recalling her character, I realise she would have delighted in telling this to her friends in the same way I recount my own mothering. You can thank her for that; I’ll thank her for the bone management. However, these sticks are slippable (yes, that’s a word) from their positions, the meat surrounding them rendered beautifully tender and relaxed.
Takes 15 minutes
Bakes 2 hours
2 racks pork ribs
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ cup (125 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1 cup (250 ml) barbecue sauce
½ cup (100 g) brown sugar
½ cup (125 ml) apple cider vinegar
4 large potatoes, poked once with a fork and wrapped in foil
½ cup (125 g) sour cream
baby fist of chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Line a large baking dish with foil and baking paper.
A tricky little step here. Flip the ribs and carefully cut away the fine membrane layer that holds the ribs together on the inside. Removing it allows the marinade flavours to get into the meat and also speeds up the tenderisation of the ribs. The butcher will know how to do this if you don’t.
If it doesn’t happen, don’t worry. Nothing will suffer too badly!
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and thoroughly coat the ribs.
Place the ribs in the prepared dish and cover with paper and another layer of foil. Fold and crimp the edges well to seal.
Place in the oven and bake for 2 hours.
In the final 30 minutes of cooking pop the foil potatoes directly on the oven racks.
After 2 hours, remove the top layer of paper and foil from the ribs, and increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F). Bake for a further 15 minutes until the edges and tops begin to crisp and char. The spuds should be slightly squishable.
Open the top of the foil parcels and cut deep slits into the spuds (I keep the foil around to catch the sour cream). Top with sour cream and chives and lots of salt.
Butter for the spuds, and a slaw would work (there’s a very good one on page 31 of the book!).
Images and text from Every Night of the Week by Lucy Tweed; photography by Lucy Tweed. Murdoch Books RRP $35.00.