Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Oven Roasted Root Beer Barbecue Ribs with Roseanne Cash's Potato Salad

Oven Roasted Root Beer Barbecue Ribs with Roseanna Cash's Potato Salad - The Inky Kitchen

You'd think that choosing a recipe for this blog would be simple. Sometimes it is. Sometimes I just get inspiration from what's in season, a certain food craving, something mentioned in a book or film or even the weather, but at other times it can be a real toughy. This week took a little thinking, and it really brewed down to a combination of bad weather and carnivorous cravings.

So what could I make that would make me feel a little more summery? Barbecue food of course, and no-one takes it more seriously than our friends in the US. I decided to go with a US BBQ all star - ribs. Simple to get hold of I would have thought, but I thought wrong. I trawled round every butcher, every meat bearing market stall and every supermarket in Loughborough in my search for pork ribs, but to no avail. I found a solitary vacuumed package in a supermarket, but they weren't in a rack and looked pretty meatless.

Oven Roasted Root Beer Barbecue Ribs with Roseanna Cash's Potato Salad - The Inky Kitchen

And then once again, as happens quite often, mum came to the rescue. While complaining to her over the phone about my ribless search she had the bright idea of asking her butcher who definitely came through with the goods! She lives in Shepshed, a village on the outskirts of Loughborough. They have a wonderful butcher called G T Webster who provided me with some of the biggest racks of 'king ribs' that I had ever seen. Truly huge. I asked for two racks of 8 as I was expecting them to be no more than five inches tall. What I actually received were two racks of 6 that were more like two slabs of pork with a bit of bone in them! Wonderful!

I would definitely recommend this butcher, they are located in Shepshed Market Place (LE12 9RT). Whenever we go to my parents' for a barbecue they always have some lovely treats purchased from Webster's - sausages and pieces of chicken to grill along and sometimes some strips of belly pork. If you're in the area and are of meat eating tendencies do check them out!

Oven Roasted Root Beer Barbecue Ribs with Roseanna Cash's Potato Salad - The Inky Kitchen
In order to keep the meat as tender as possible you really need to cook it low and slow and covered over in foil so all the steam and flavour is sealed in. Some of the bones actually fell out of the ribs as I was cooking them, so you can see it is possible to get super tender meat using just your oven! The basting of the sauce onto the ribs at high heat is also very important, it caramelises with the pork fat and you get those delicious nearly black burnished parts that melt in your mouth.... Dreamy.

And to clarify, this potato salad recipe is not my own, it is from Roseanne Cash, Johnny Cash's daughter and musician in her own right. I think this has become my favourite cold potato dish now, I love love love anything will dill in it, and it's all the better as it slightly affiliated with Johnny Cash, the man in black whose music I love so dearly. I think it's only fitting that I put on the American Recordings while typing this out...

Oven Roasted Root Beer Barbecue Ribs with Roseanna Cash's Potato Salad - The Inky Kitchen

Oven Roasted Root Beer Barbecue Ribs with Roseanne Cash's Potato Salad
Serves 4 (with lots of potato salad!)

Root Beer Barbecue Ribs Ingredients
2 x 1kg racks of pork ribs

Dry Rub Ingredients
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp garlic granules
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Root Beer Barbecue Sauce Ingredients
1 red onion, chopped into quarters
3 cloves of garlic, bruised with the back of your knife

1 x 330ml can root beer
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 x 24g can tomato puree
1 tbsp maggi seasoning
1 tbsp worcester sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

Root Beer Barbecue Ribs Method
Preheat the oven to 100 C / 225 F.

Mix together the spice rub ingredients and set to one side while you pat down your pork ribs with some kitchen roll to make sure they are nice and dry. Now take the spice rub and massage it into both sides of the racks making sure they are completely covered, even on the sides. Cover with cling film and put into the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavour to sink in - I left mine for about two hours, with the last half hour out of the fridge so it could come to room temperature before cooking.

Place the matured ribs onto a baking tray(s) and cover completely with foil, then cook in the preheated oven for four hours. While the meat is cooking make your barbecue sauce ready for basting after the four hours are up.

Root Beer Barbecue Sauce Method
Place the onion and garlic cloves into a non-stick saucepan and cook over medium heat until they slightly brown, then add the rest of the sauce ingredients starting with the liquids. Bring up to the boil, then lower the heat slightly and simmer with a lid on for about half an hour, stirring occasionally until you get a nice sauce consistency.

Remove from the heat and take out the onion and garlic cloves. There are not needed so just throw them away and leave the sauce to cool until the ribs are ready.

Root Beer Barbecue Ribs Method Continued
After the four hours are up, take the ribs out of the oven and remove the foil, then turn the oven heat up to 200 C / 400 F.

Next take some of the barbecue sauce and spread it evenly over the ribs, don't use it all as you want to do this basting method another two times. When both racks are nicely coated put them back into the hotter oven and cook for 10 minutes before removing and repeating the basting. Put back into the oven for another 10 minutes and then baste again, this time cooking for a further 15 minutes.

Take the racks out of the oven
- they should be burnished but still a bit sticky. Let cool for a little while before cutting into individual ribs and serving (with lots of napkins).

Roseanne Cash's Potato Salad
(Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Serves about 8 people, so you may want to halve the recipe

Potato Salad Ingredients
1 kg red skinned potatoes, cut into roughly 1.5 inch chunks
6 pickled cucumber sticks, roughly chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped small
4 eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped
200g mayonnaise
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1.5 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp dill, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Potato Salad Method
Boil the potato in salted water until tender but not falling apart - about ten minutes - then drain and place in a large bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes before adding all the other ingredients and mixing well but triyng not to break up the potatoes too much. .

Cover with cling film and leave to stand for an hour so the flavours can develop. Serve with the barbecue ribs and enjoy a taste of a gone too soon Summer!

Oven Roasted Root Beer Barbecue Ribs with Roseanna Cash's Potato Salad - The Inky Kitchen

I apologise that there is only one photo of the ribs and the potato salad, I appear to have chosen two recipes that are exceedingly difficult to photograph.

The potato salad recipe makes enough for at least 8 people whereas the ribs will serve 4, so you can either halve the recipe or refrigerate the leftovers to eat the next day like I did.

Full fat mayo tastes the best in the salad, but you can use light - the dill and mustard still give it lots of flavour. Please don't use extra light, that stuff tastes like jellied egg whites and has an awful texture.

Because I am slightly ridiculous, I didn't think the ribs and potato salad alone would be enough food so I also grilled us some lovely locally grown corn cobs on my George Foreman. I got them from Loughborough market and they were amazing but unnecessary!

Oven Roasted Root Beer Barbecue Ribs with Roseanna Cash's Potato Salad - The Inky Kitchen

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