26 October 2012

Strawberry Jam: BBQ Sauce Ribs

As far as I'm concerned fruit and meat go hand in hand, blending sweet and savoury to create balance, (the acid in the fruit also helps to tenderise the meat if used as a marinade). Some of my favourite foods from around the world have this sweet/savoury combination... Duck a l'orangeMoroccan lamb tagine with apricots, or chicken with olives and prunes... So why not strawberry jam and ribs?

Although Melbourne seemed in denial when I made these, Spring is finally here! The days are longer, there are flowers growing on the verge and everyone has an extra bounce in their step.

From Strawberry Jam to Rib Glaze in a few simple steps
I love ribs, they are an excuse to eat with your fingers and can be prepared in so many different ways with so many flavour combinations (there is also something very satisfying about ending up with a pile of bones picked clean).

Smokey, sweet, sticky, spicy, with a rub or a glaze, or both - the choice is yours.

I cleaned the BBQ last weekend in anticipation of cooking outdoors in the warmth but Melbourne has other ideas and is holding on to the last showers of winter so I cooked these in the oven. If you do cook these on the BBQ just vary the cooking time to suit, and vary the sugar content, you need to use less sugar for BBQ cooking or the ribs will blacken before they are cooked through (in this case, cut out the treacle in the glaze and keep a good eye on them, turning and basting regularly as the jam has a lot of sugar). 
Spices for the Rib Rub
Ingredients (for 4 people if served with sides, for 2 if you just love ribs):
4 pork rib racks (approximately 450 grams each)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon smokey paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon treacle
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon worcester sauce
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  1. Combine rub ingredients and massage into rib racks, let them rest in the fridge for 1 hour - overnight
  2. fill a deep oven tray 1/3 full of water and place ribs on an oven rack sitting over the water tray (the steam will cook the ribs making the meat tender)
  3. loosely cover with foil and cook at 160 ˚C for one hour
  4. increase heat to 180 ˚C, remove foil (keep over the water bath) and baste liberally with the glaze (using about half the glaze), cook for 30 minutes
  5. baste again with remaining glaze and continue cooking for another 15 - 25 minutes, or until the glaze caramelises (if it hasn't caramelised, increase to 220 ˚C for the final 10 minutes)
  6. remove from oven, allow to sit for 10 minutes, then serve!

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