Wednesday, 6 June 2012

029 - Pork Belly Ribs

I realised yesterday that it’s been over a month since I added something to the list of 100 things to BBQ… what a slacker! If you follow me on twitter, you’ll have seen that it’s not because I haven’t been using my BBQ – quite the opposite. I guess I’ve just been too busy BBQing to write about it :-)

So, with that in mind – number 29 in the list is a Rib-in Pork Belly Joint.

Back in April I visited one of the town’s butchers and asked if he had any ribs in stock. Apparently, it was too early in the summer for him to start stocking them fresh but he did have some in the freezer. The rack he offered me still had the belly cut attached, which wasn’t really what I was looking for, so I just took half of it (about 5 ribs worth).

One of the most popular items on the list so far, based on visits to that page is the Roasted Pork Belly with Crackling I posted in January. I decided to cook this in pretty much the same way, although since this joint already had the skin removed there would be no crackling.

I started by scoring the fat on top of the joint to help it render down during cooking and then removed the membrane from the bone side. Then I used some California Ranch Wild Hog rub to season the meat liberally on all sides before leaving it at room temperature for half an hour while I set up the BBQ.

I piled a chimney full of briquettes against one side of the BBQ, and placed a foil tray with some water in on the other side. The tray helps to catch any drips from the meat, and water creates steam which helps to keep your meat moist. Then I added a couple of chunks of wood to the charcoal, added the cooking grate back in place and placed the pork belly above the foil tray.

Total cook time was somewhere between 3-4 hours. I adjusted the top-vent to keep the temperature around 250F. I’d mixed some California Rancher Oaky Smokey BBQ sauce with a little apple juice and applied this all over the joint a few times during the cook – and added more wood after the 1st hour.  Most importantly, I let the ribs rest, loosely covered in foil after I took it off the BBQ.

These were juicy! We served with a baked potato, a simple green salad and some more of the warmed sauce on the side. The left overs kept us in sandwiches for the next couple of days!


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