By Chef Peter Webster of Bouquet Garni Catering
Barbecued ribs are one of my favourite things. Whether they are side ribs or baby backs, I just love the aroma, the taste and, yes, licking the bones and my fingers clean of that delectable homemade bbq sauce. It is a real treat for me.
The one cardinal rule of BBQ Ribs is to NEVER, EVER, BOIL YOUR RIBS!!!. If you immerse your ribs in boiling water, all the flavour of the meat and bones is left in the water, and then the water is thrown out. What’s the point?
You can bbq your ribs on indirect heat for 3 to 4 hours or you can steam them.
I prefer to steam my ribs. Simply line up your ribs on a rack placed in a pan with about an inch of water (don’t let the ribs touch the water). Cover the ribs completely with foil and put them in a preheated 350º oven. Let them steam for 2 to 2.5 hours.
Remove the ribs from the pan, slather them with BBQ sauce, place in a clean, dry pan, cover with foil and put back in a 300º oven for another hour. Now your ribs are ready for the Barbie! Using a medium heat, put the ribs on the bbq, about 10 minutes a side and the ribs are ready when the sauce caramelizes, not carbonizes. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
I have a simple sauce recipe below or you could use a commercial sauce.
• 1 onion, chopped and sautéed in a little oil
• 2 cups ketchup
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon Worcester shire Sauce
• 1 tablespoon Tabasco or red hot sauce
• 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp chili powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1/4 tsp cayenne
Simmer sauce for about 30 minutes until it thickens slightly. Garlic is also a nice addition and should be sautéed with the onion.
You can adjust the amount of chili and cayenne to your tolerance of “heat”!