I have a confession. It’s been gorgeous out, with the sun shining down, and here in town it’s hot and humid. You’d think I’d be raring to whip out the barbecue – but instead I had the oven on.
I know, I know – it’s a shame, I should be out there grilling my ribs, but, but… see, I have this recipe and it’s done in the oven and it works so well I’m not in the mood to change my method just yet. One day, I’ll get out there and fire up the grill, but today, if you’ll just throw me a bone, I promise to throw you a few back! (rib bones, that is) Pinky swear.
…okay, so this isn’t the prettiest dish ever (if you want pretty, go check out my Blood Orange Chocolate Tart), and I’m not gonna win any awards for composition on this one, but that doesn’t matter at all. The meat falls right off the bone, and the sauce is a little sweet, a little sour, a little spicy, and rich with flavour. Best of all, the prep work is quick and easy, and the oven does the rest for you. And here they are!
3.5-4 lb pork ribs
1 tbsp salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350F.
With a sharp knife, cut between rib bones, until ribs are separated into individual pieces.
Pat ribs dry with a paper towel, then sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Heat vegetable oil in a pan, and brown meat on all sides.
Arrange ribs in a single layer in a roasting pan.
3 cups onions, sliced (I used Vidalia onions)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup malt or cider vinegar
3/4 cup dark or amber honey
1 tbsp fennel seed
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 star anise
Combine all of the above ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour out evenly over ribs, ensuring the meat is completely covered with sauce.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven for 2 hours, then turn ribs, spoon sauce from the bottom of the pan overtop, and bake for another hour, uncovered.
If you happen to have leftovers, these are even better the next day, when the flavours have had time to meld!