Recipe: Barbecued ribs in the CharBroil Big Easy

Barbecued ribs in a Chinese-style marinade

I love a good rack of ribs. Earliest memories take me back to a Greek restaurant in Harare, Zimbabwe called the Acropolis where we’d tuck into huge plates of ribs. It was a real treat eating with our fingers until all that was left was the piles of bones eaten clean. A somewhat messy business – which seems to make it all that much more enjoyable. And I guess the fact that we so rarely visited restaurants also helped make for an amazing experience. A bit different from my frequent restaurant going days now!

One of the beauties of ribs is that you can marinade them to produce many different dishes, there are so many potential flavours. Today my mixture infuses lovely Asian flavours. I like to marinade them overnight to the flavours really infuse.

The Big Easy offers a unique way to cook ribs. You suspend them from the side of the basket using the handy hooks supplied. The come out beautifully moist and flavoursome with a slightly crispy exterior. Genius!

This recipe uses 12 ribs which is great for two people with the tasty coleslaw accompaniment.

CharBroil Big Easy: Chinese-style ribs

The beautifully browned ribs

For the marinade

100ml hoisin sauce

2 tbsps soya sauce

2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce

1 tbsp runny  honey

2 tbsps teriyaki sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and place in a dish. Add the ribs and make sure they are thoroughly coated. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.

The instructions

Slice between the first and second ribs about 20cm in and use the hooks from the Big Easy kit to hook onto the basket that slots into the barbecue.

Turn the barbecue on to three-quarters heat and leave to heat up for about 15 minutes.

Place the basket into the barbecue and cook for 30-35 minutes until the ribs are browned and slightly crispy.

CharBroil Big Easy: Coleslaw accompaniment

Crispy, spicy coleslaw

For the spicy coleslaw

2 cups of white cabbage, thinly sliced

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

Half a cucumber, thinly sliced

4 tbsps mayonnaise

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

Mix the mayonnaise and chilli sauce together and combine with the vegetables.

CharBroil Big Easy: ribs in basket

The ribs clip easily onto the basket

The CharBroil Big Easy is the UK’s first three-in-one barbecue which you can roast, grill or smoke in. Find out more about this amazingly versatile barbecue by clicking here.

Tamarind ribs

I absolutely love ribs. There’s the way the meat falls away from the bone (if they are properly cooked), the flavour of the marinade and that immense satisfaction that comes from eating with your hands and making something of a mess!

It also reminds me of my childhood when we used to drive up to Harare (the big city) from the farm where I grew up and after all the business was done, as a special treat we’d go out for lunch or dinner to a Greek restaurant called The Acropolis. I don’t ever remember seeing a menu (though surely they must have had one). All I remember is tucking into piles of ribs and leaving full and happy, with clothes covered with rib sauce! Oh and that their chips were really good, too.

Since then I’ve tasted ribs in many different places (including the three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy). And I’ve cooked them lots of different ways, too – they are so versatile they lend themselves to a myriad of flavours and cooking styles.

This is my latest recipe, using Sainsbury’s tamarind paste as the main flavour. The key here is to cook the ribs really slowly on a low temperature. The meat should just fall away when you pull at it.

I served the ribs with new potatoes and spinach, nice simple flavours to go with the tangy tamarind, and zesty ginger and lemongrass.

A juicy half rack of ribs begging to be eaten

Serves 2

1 rack of pork ribs

3tsp Sainsbury’s chopped lemongrass

2tsp Sainsbury’s chopped ginger

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3tbsp ketchup manis (Indonesian soy sauce)

200ml white wine

2tsp Sainsbury’s tamarind paste

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour over the ribs into a roasting tray. Make sure they get a good covering. Cover and marinate overnight.

Heat the oven to 120C. Place the roasting tray in the oven, covered tightly with foil, for about 2 hrs. Check and baste the ribs every 20 minutes or so.

Serve with new potatoes and spinach.

The whole rack of ribs marinading

The indgredients

The magic ingredients