This post is sponsored by Nuffnang
Ahhh, it must be spring. The weather is warming up, the days are getting longer, and my hayfever is back with a vengeance! But it also means that BBQ season is just beginning, and that is something I get excited about every year. Cooking and eating outside during the warmer months is really special, and I just love the relaxed vibe that comes with a Sydney spring.
Although I usually focus on sweet recipes on my blog, one of my favourite things to cook is slow roasted meat. Whether it’s a shredded pork shoulder to fill some delicious tacos or veal shanks slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce to top homemade pasta, there’s something inherently magical about this style of cooking. Ribs are one thing I’ll never get enough of, and are at their best when slow cooked in a delicious saucy marinade.
This time I used beef ribs, which I had never cooked before (but have enjoyed eating on many occasions!) but pork ribs would also work beautifully in this recipe if you prefer. I always start by preparing a spice rub, which gives them an extra boost of flavour, and then grilling them on the BBQ. This does two things – jump starts the cooking process, and gives the meat a lovely, slightly charry flavour.
I recently picked up a bottle of pomegranate molasses and decided to add some into the marinade for fun, and it was absolutely delicious, creating a sweetness and a hint of smokiness in the sauce. I also loved the Cambpell’s stock paste sachets for a convenient way to get the flavour of beef stock into the sauce, without having to add a lot of liquid. From there, the ribs are slow cooked in that magical sauce until the meat is tender and falling off the bones.
I find writing savoury recipes a little difficult, as I usually just throw the ingredients in, tasting as I go along and rarely measuring, so feel free to adapt the sauce to include whatever you like – perhaps some maple syrup or some bourbon would be nice. The sauce is also delicious on other things too, so if you have any left over, store it in an airtight container and serve it on burgers or pies.
The ribs were totally delicious, and the sauce was the star. I served mine simply with steak fries (you can’t have ribs without chips!) washed down with a nice cold glass of apple cider. Not a bad way to spend a nice warm spring Sunday if I do say so myself!
Beef Ribs with Pomegranate BBQ Sauce
• 3.5kg beef ribs (or pork if you prefer)
• Olive oil
• Steak fries, to serve
• 1 teaspoon ground fennel
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons smoky paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground chilli
• ½ teaspoon ground cloves
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• ¾ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 200ml tomato sauce
• 2 sachets Campbell’s beef stock paste
• 2 tablespoons Worstershire sauce
• 4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon sumac
• Chilli flakes, to taste
• Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine ingredients for the spice rub in a bowl and mix to combine. Rub all over the ribs and place in a non-reactive container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably 2-3 hours.
In the meantime, combine ingredients for BBQ sauce in another bowl or jug, tasting as you go along and adjusting to taste.
Heat a BBQ or char-grill plate over high heat. Drizzle olive oil onto ribs and toss to coat. Place ribs fat side up and cook for 5-8 minutes each side or until sealed and slightly charred.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Transfer ribs to a large oven-proof dish and brush generously with BBQ sauce. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 2 – 2 ½ hours, turning 3-4 times throughout, until meat is tender and falling off the bone. You can remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking to crisp up the outsides slightly. Serve with chips and extra BBQ sauce.