LOUISIANA STYLE PORK RIBS
This dish is not very complicated, but the time it takes to prepare pays big dividends.It has been a firm favourite with my extended family and past loyal customers when I used to serve share platters and a ‘meat from the grill’.
For this recipe you just cook the ribs in the oven and finish on the BBQ, then serve with some roasted potatoes and a salad. As long as you get nice juicy, fatty ribs from your local butcher, it is pretty hard to mess up this recipe. Ribs are well known as a tough cut of meat, so they’re wonderful for slow cooking until perfectly tender.
I’m quite forgiving with the cooking time, unlike some other types of meat like chicken or steak. So even if you have to cook them for another 30 minutes or so, don’t fret, they will still be juicy and delicious. I’ve used my Creole as a rub to marinate with, as it adds a lovely little bit of warmth on the palate and seasons them wonderfully. Give it a crack and your friends and family will be feasting like Viking royalty.
Did you know? Pork ribs were once given away by the butchers for free. In America, the city of Cincinnati is blessed with a prime position on the Ohio River, close to cornfields and hog farms, it became famously known as “Porkopolis." It became the largest pork-producing city in the world. By 1836, Cincinnati’s four largest slaughterhouses were collectively killing and butchering some 2600 hogs in a single day, producing between 200 and 500 barrels of pork along with 200 barrels of lard. Barrels were critical to the pork trade, as there was no refrigerated transport at the time. Meatpackers were forced to preserve the meat before shipping, but they didn’t want to waste weeks of slow-smoking ribs. Instead, they packed the hams and shoulders in barrels, filled in the gaps with chines, hocks, and jowls then poured in a sweet and salty ‘pickle' made from rock salt and brown sugar boiled in water.
The spareribs, however, didn’t fit in the barrels, and the packers found themselves with literal tonnes of unwanted racks on their hands. "It is said that during the hog-killing season in Cincinnati," the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported in 1844, "any keeper of a boarding-house, by sending a basket to the butcher’s, can have it filled with the finest and most delicious spareribs, and for ‘free, gratis, for nothing at that." But even the city’s boarding houses couldn’t eat up the supply. One account recalled, "Cart loads upon cartloads of spare ribs were drawn to the water’s edge and emptied into the Ohio River to get rid of them.” That started to change in the 1870s when artificial ice-making and then mechanical refrigeration transformed meatpacking from a seasonal to a year-round business. Now packers could hang onto spare ribs and sell them to retailers as a low-cost cut. This is hard to believe when nowadays spare ribs have become so fashionable they almost cost more than steak.
Chef Dylan tip: Steam is essential for breaking down meat fibres when slow cooking in the oven. Adding liquid creates steam which in turn creates the perfect environment for the ribs to gently cook in the oven and keeps them nice and juicy. My liquid of choice is apple cider because alcohol adds extra layers of flavour and apple and pork is a classic combo. I like to use our local Witches Falls Eighth Day cider, but by all means, feel free to choose one to your own liking.
A little reminder: there is simply no way to look elegant and dainty eating pork ribs. It’s totally
acceptable for you to have messy fingers and sauce smeared all over your face because, most importantly, there’ll be large happy grins all around.
PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOKING TIME: 2 hrs
2 racks of ribs about 2.5 kg
4 tbsp CREOLE
1 bottle apple cider
1 bottle of CAPTAIN KIDD bbq sauce
Rub the CREOLE all over the meat and let marinate for ~20 mins.
Heat oven to 160°C.
Place ribs on a baking tray in a single layer. Pour all the apple cider under the ribs.
Cover with alfoil, then bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the meat is tender and you can pry it apart from the bone with 2 forks.
Heat BBQ on high with the lid down to get the grill very hot.
Remove the ribs from the oven. Take off the foil and drizzle with olive oil.
Brush bony side of ribs with 4 tablespoons of CAPTAIN KIDD bbq sauce, then cook on BBQ (bone side up) with lid down for 5 minutes.
Flip so meaty side is up, baste with another 4 tablespoons of BBQ sauce.
Cook with lid down for 5 minutes.
Repeat 2 times until you have a nice, caramelised glaze.
Serve with a bowl of warm CAPTAIN KIDD bbq sauce so everyone can spoon on some extra sauce.
Add your favourite BBQ side dishes. I'm thinking corn and potato salad and devour.