This week, two sets of very simple recipes that can easily be doubled for a crowd.
Easiest, Oven-Baked, Barbecued Pork Ribs
Technically these are not barbecued at all but just slowly simmered in a tangy, sweet barbecue sauce in the oven. It’s a taste of summer even when the outside temperatures have started to drop.
The success of this recipe has more to do with technique than ingredients. Meaning that you don’t have to make homemade sauce unless you want to – in Canada, Bullseye brand has the right ingredients to ensure a caramelized top to the melt-in-your-mouth ribs which is exactly how I like them (in the States I use Stubbs brand). You will need:
• Baby back pork ribs, 2 whole racks
• Barbecue sauce, 1 bottle
• Large roasting pan
• Heavy duty aluminum foil
Pre-heat the oven to 350F (start several hours ahead of when you want to eat the ribs).
Lay the ribs in the roasting pan (I use a disposable foil one) and cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven and cook for about 90 minutes. (If you’re doubling the recipe and have two pans of ribs, rotate them halfway through cooking so each pan has time at the top of the oven.)
Carefully remove the pan from the oven (don’t turn it off), remove the foil and transfer the ribs to a large chopping board. Pour away any fat that has collected and wipe out the pan. Return the ribs to the roasting pan and pour over the barbecue sauce; cover tightly with foil and return to the oven for about another 90 minutes.
Turn off the oven and let the ribs sit for up to 3 hours. The ribs will still be hot and the meat literally falling off the bone and can be eaten right away.
Or, if you prefer a caramelized finish, remove the ribs from the oven and pre-heat the broiler. Carefully transfer the ribs to a chopping board, pour the sauce into a jug, replace the ribs in the pan and baste with some of the sauce. Place the pan under the broiler for about 5 minutes or so until the top is sizzling.
Cut up the ribs and serve alongside colourful Black Bean Salad.
Reserve leftover ribs and sauce, covered, in the ‘fridge for up to 3 days.
Black Bean & Corn Salad
You will need:
• Canned Black beans, 1 large can (I use Eden brand)
• Canned corn niblets, 1 small can (I use Green Giant)
• Red bell pepper
• Green onions (scallions), 1 bunch
• Vegetable oil e.g. Canola
• Chipotle chili powder (optional)
• Fresh cilantro (coriander), optional
Rinse and drain the canned beans, drain the canned corn and pour the contents into a large bowl. Finely chop the red pepper and cut the green onions on the diagonal and add to the bowl. Add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil and toss to combine; season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. For an extra kick, add up to about a teaspoonful of chipotle chili powder (regular chill powder doesn’t work). Cover and let sit for an hour or so; toss again just before serving and garnish with fresh cilantro (optional).
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Apple Slaw
You will need:
• Leftover barbecued ribs
• Leftover barbecue sauce
• Crusty buns
• Packet of your favourite brand of cole-slaw *
• Mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s)
• Apple Cider Vinegar
• Vidalia sweet onion, peeled and chopped
• Granny Smith Apple, skin on, chopped
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Remove the meat from the bones of the leftover ribs and place into a saucepan with any leftover sauce; add extra sauce if necessary. Cook at a simmer, covered, until heated through.
Meantime, make Apple Slaw:
Pour the cole slaw into a large bowl, add 2-3 heaped spoonfuls of mayonnaise, a splash of apple-cider vinegar, the chopped onion and apple and a handful of raisins. Stir to combine. Cover and set aside in the ‘fridge for about an hour or so. Uncover and taste; add extra mayonnaise if it needs it – I like it lightly dressed not goopy but ultimately it’s your choice.
Pile the heated pork and sauce onto crusty buns, add a generous heaped spoonful of apple slaw and enjoy! A beer or a few would be a great accompaniment.
* If you own a food processor and have the time or inclination, shred fresh white and red cabbages and carrots to make your own slaw.