The Spring Bank Holiday is fast approaching and no doubt, right now, many of you are formulating plans. Thinking about getting the barbecue out for cooking, sausages and chicken, patio will be buzzing and all the neighbours will be looking. Bringing six packs of beer and Grandma's new dentures. Before it's back to work.
Recognise the song we've paraphrased there?
But back to the question in hand, the weather isn't looking too bad for the second public holiday of the month, and collective thoughts across the nation are surely turning to cooking meat over flame and smoke. It's practically tradition in this country. And on the blog, we have given you some pointers and tips in the past. From some of our favourite BBQ peeps, to inspiration from Meatopia - and we've even given vegetables a going over on the grill. We have also introduced you to our burgers and sausages.
Plans are afoot though, to delve even further into the world of BBQ. Mr Turner, as you can imagine, has plenty of ideas and tricks up his sleeves. So do watch this space.
To kick things off, we'd like to showcase a few suggestions for the humble rib, which has always been a cornerstone of outdoor cooking and a reasonable one to boot. These are fairly easy, no-fuss approaches and should you wish to take them on board, you could easily put together a feast that will feed a sizable group. A three course menu, or smorgasbord of ribs in others words.
Get stuck in.
Spiced Breast of Goat, served in wraps, with yoghurt and fiery salsa verde
Breast of goat, whilst leaner than lamb, is an amazingly versatile cut of meat, that works wonderfully when doused in warm spices and cooked low and slow. For a single rack, simply combine two teaspoons of smoked paprika and ground cumin, along with two finely chopped garlic cloves and a generous glug of olive oil, plus some generous seasoning. Place all the marinade ingredients into a bag, along with the goat and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, light up your BBQ for indirect cooking and bring the meat up to room temperature. Place straight onto the grill, away from the heat and cook for 3-4 hours, at a temperature of 140°C, until the goat is yielding and soft. Make a quick green sauce by blitzing a handful of coriander, a jalapeno pepper, two garlic cloves, sea salt and cracked black pepper and the juice of one lime, with 50mls sesame oil and 50mls water. To serve, spoon some Greek yoghurt onto a flatbread or wrap, remove the bones and shred the goat meat and place a healthy amount on top and finish with the spicy salsa verde. And some more coriander, if you wish.
Pork Breast Ribs - St Louis Style
Loin ribs or 'Baby back' ribs are often de rigeur for your average BBQ. Largely because they can be cooked quite quickly, due to being lean and trim, and this is fine. Sometimes, you want to get a quick pork fix. But again, if you are willing to put some time into proceedings, using a cut like Pork Breast can bring a hell of a lot to the table. Now, we are wandering in to dangerous territory here, over the true definition of 'St Louis' style ribs, as some sources suggest that spare ribs qualify. But where we're coming from, it is the amount of fat that truly helps to baste and flavour this cut, as it slowly renders down. You can only get that from the breast cut. Smoke is going to be key here and we recommend oak, cherry or hickory chips. If you can get maple, then great, as that will be subtler, and will let the pork do all the talking. As for BBQing, again you need to set up for indirect cooking, bringing the temperature up to 115°C, before seasoning the joint generously with some Spicy Pig Rub and leave to absorb for an hour or so. Throw some wood chips onto your coals and then place the pork on the grill, away from the heat and gently roast away for 6 - 7 hours. Or until the internal temperature is 88°C is reached. For a quick finish, glaze with some South Carolina BBQ Sauce and crisp up for another 10 minutes. Rest for at least 30 minutes and then carve away!
Korean style Beef Short Rib
Ordinarily, beef short rib is another candidate for low and slow BBQing and don't get us wrong, the rewards are massive. There is another way with this gorgeous cut of meat though, where we can cut them up thinly for you, Korean style. The gang at EC1 can obviously do this for you over the counter but as for online, you'd need to put in a special request via the comments box on ordering. In a Korean restaurant, you would normally see them braised in a punchy stock and served with rice and vegetables. But the same stock can also be used to tenderise overnight, preparing them for a fairly quick flash on the grill. For the purposes of our approach here, we've gone down the route of creating a bulgogi sauce. However, there are many variations on this theme! To make the marinade, simply combine 6 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp rice wine, half a grated white onion, 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic, 5 tbsp grated apple or pear, 1 tsp finely ginger and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper* Place into a plastic bag, along with the short ribs and leave to marinate overnight. The next day, take the beef out of the sauce and bring to room temperature. Light your BBQ and wait until the coals have turned white. Then grill the beef on each side for about 6-7 minutes, basting all the while with the leftover sauce. Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and chopped spring onion.
*This is a great resource for Korean food by the way - https://mykoreankitchen.com/
If you've got any unusual recipes or techniques where ribs are concerned, we'd love to hear about them. Get in touch via the comments box or on social.