A few weekends back, I had an epic afternoon slow cooking some pork ribs. I saw these ribs at the shops about a month ago now. It’s not often you see large chunks of meat in Singapore so I got a bit excited and purchased them on the spot. They were on the pricey side at about $30.00SGD so I had to come up with something that would really do them justice.
I stashed them in the freezer as I knew I wouldn’t have the time to devote to them that week. A few weeks later when I picked up some cheap liquid smoke, I knew the time had come to defrost them.
I started off with a dry rub and let them marinate in that for a few hours.
Some apple juice in the baking dish will help steam and cook the ribs once they are covered in foil.
The sauce starts off as a glaze. Cover the ribs with the glaze every half an hour for the last part of the cooking.
Reducing down the glaze leaves you with a thick home made BBQ sauce to serve with the ribs.
The liquid in the bottom of the dish won’t start to evaporate until the last hour where the oven is hotter.
Most of the meat is on top so I only glazed the bottom bones once.
Timings can sometimes be tricky with a lengthy cook process that involves temperature changes and multiple glazes, so here is a brief run down of what I did to complete my ribs for dinner served at 7pm on the dot:
9:30am – Mix together the dry rub ingredients and start marinating the ribs.
2:30pm – Preheat the oven and remove the ribs from the fridge.
2:45pm – Add some apple juice to the baking dish and cover with foil to start the cooking process on a low heat.
4:30pm – Make the BBQ sauce, uncover the ribs and do the first glaze. By the time I pottered around the kitchen (and took photos) it was about 5:00 when the first glaze went on.
5:30pm – Turn the ribs over and glaze the underside.
6:00pm – Turn the ribs right side up again and glaze again. I increased the heat now. I also started making my sides at this point. More about those below.
6:30pm – Glaze again on the right side up. Start reducing the BBQ sauce.
7:00pm – One final glaze with the now thickened BBQ sauce after coming out of the oven. Ready to serve.
I served this with smashed potatoes and a baby spinach and raisin salad with roasted garlic dressing. I’ll post the spinach salad recipe for you next week.
To make smashed potatoes, par cook new potatoes by either steaming, boiling or in the microwave. Once slightly tender (but not cooked all the way through) smash and chuff up with a fork. Place on a baking tray and lightly dribble olive oil over them. Season generously with sea salt flakes, then roast in a 180°C oven for 40 minutes.
The sugar in the glaze gives the ribs a nice blackened crust which, I assure you, doesn’t taste burnt at all despite its appearance.
Ribs! Sweet, but not too sweet. Spicy, but not too spicy. Smoky, but not too smoky. Oh so tender!
Slow Cooked Pork Ribs with Home Made BBQ Sauce
Ingredients – Serves 3-4
- 1kg prime pork ribs
- 1 cup apple juice
For the dry rub
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 tbs sweet paprika powder
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ tbs hot cayenne powder
- 1 tbs dried oregano leaves
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp dried garlic powder
For the BBQ glaze / sauce
- ¼ cup malt vinegar
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- ½ cup apple juice
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp smoky paprika
- 1 tbs liquid smoke flavour
- 1 cup passata
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- Mix together all of the ingredients for the dry rub then rub all over both sides and the edges of the ribs. Cover and refrigerate. Let the ribs marinade in the rub for 5 hours.
- About 15 minutes before you plan to start the cooking process, preheat the oven to 150°C and take the ribs out of the fridge.
- Place the ribs in a baking dish bone side down. Pour in the cup of apple juice, then cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours.
- Once the ribs have been in the oven for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, start to prepare the glaze by mixing together all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, whisk the sauce until smooth, then bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring with a spoon occasionally. The sauce will reduce slightly, but will still be very liquid at this point. Remove from heat and set aside to use for basting.
- Once the ribs have completed their initial 2 hour bake time, remove the foil covering and baste the ribs with the sauce all over the exposed parts. Place back in the oven uncovered this time.
- After another half an hour of cooking, remove from the oven again and turn the ribs over. Baste on the now exposed side and all exposed edges. Return to the oven still uncovered. There will still be a fair bit if liquid in the bottom of the baking dish at his point.
- After another half an hour of cooking, remove the ribs and turn them the right side up again. Baste again and return to the oven. At this point, turn the oven up to 180°C.
- After another half an hour, baste the ribs again but do not turn them over again. Return to the oven and continue cooking for a final half an hour.
- Once the ribs have only half an hour left of cooking time, place the remaining glazing sauce back on a medium to high heat. Simmer continually until the sauce has reduced to a thick consistency. This will take 10-15 minutes.
- Once the ribs have finished cooking, give them a final baste with the now thickened BBQ sauce. Cut into individual ribs and serve with the BBQ sauce, smashed potatoes and a tart green salad to cut through the richness of the ribs.