It’s only been a few weeks since Josh and I were expanding our waistlines in the Deep South but our cravings for wholesome, beautiful soul food have not diminished one jot. If anything my hankering for smoky sweet pulled pork or heavenly barbecue beans or killer rum cocktails or tender spicy fried chicken has only intensified.
This weekend we did the only thing we could do. We recreated a slice of the Deep South in the Deep South of England, in Winchester. We bought four fine racks of pork ribs at the Good Life Farm Shop put some Howlin’ Wolf and bluegrass on the stereo, made a dry rub and slowly, slowly slowly baked the ribs. Oh my. They were incredible. Soft, hot and spicy, juicy goodness. Perfect with creamy slaw. Get the best ribs you can, put aside an afternoon to potter about in your kitchen, leave your airs and graces to the side and prepare to get smudgy and devour these finger lickin’ tender ribs.
To buy (for 4 greedy people):
* 4 lovely racks of ribs *1/4 cup paprika *2tbsp salt *2tbsp freshly ground black pepper *2 tbsp onion powder *1tbsp cayenne pepper *2 tbsp garlic powder *2 tbsp soft brown sugar
*half a cabbage *2 small red onions *a few small carrots *splash of white vinegar *125g mayo *50g salad cream *pinch of sugar *salt and pepper
1. Mix the various spices in a bowl. Wash the ribs and place, still damp, on a baking tray. Sprinkle and pat the ribs – front and back – with the rub until it appears moist and fully covers the ribs. Any rub you don’t use can be kept in an airtight container.
2. In a pre-heated oven (150OC) bake the ribs for 3 hours, or longer if you like (just turn down the oven if so). The ribs will be blackened on the outside but soft, pink and juicy inside.
3. Once the ribs are in the oven make your coleslaw so that it has time to soak together and taste extra special. With a knife or a processor shred the cabbage, onion and carrots. In a large bowl combine and mix them then add the mayo, vinegar and salad cream.
4. Season with the salt and pepper and add a big pinch of sugar. Give it all a good mix and leave covered in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Tinker with the ‘slaw and add more mayo or seasoning as you like.
5. When your ribs are ready serve with a number of napkins or paper towels, a light salad (if only to make you feel a little saintly) your ‘slaw and then beans or sweetcorn if you feel like it. Enjoy.