The ribs at Al Brown’s new restaurant, Depot are incredible. Lamb ribs with harissa sauce sounded great and I liked the inclusion of roasted capsicum. Al’s recipe can be found on his restaurant website for those that live outside of Auckland or just want to be able to make the dish at home. What a giver!
I also have a soft spot for Lonestar ribs. It’s the only thing we go to Lonestar for these days.
Ribs shouldn’t be a special occasion food, so I figured that was time to attempt to cook ribs at home.
I put together this recipe after reading a bunch of recipes online and also incorporating some flavours that would work well with pork. Roasted capsicum is easy to do. Just cut a capsicum into quarters, remove the seeds, smear with a little oil and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes.
In hindsight, this sauce would be badass with a slow cooked hunk of pork. Think pulled pork with coleslaw, potato salad and fresh buns. Oh boy.
Kaitaia Fire is made on a farm in the far north of New Zealand. Using local organic produce, this is everything an NZ hot sauce should be. I love their “Waha Wera” Kiwifruit & Habanero Pepper Sauce. “Waha Wera” may mean burning mouth in Māori, but this sauce has a fruity, sweet tang to it that I find really addictive. One of favourite things to eat this with is a quiche. Yum. The description from their website: “a kiwifruit, manuka honey and habanero pepper sauce. It won the world’s Best Hot Fruit Sauce for 1996, at Chile Pepper Magazine’s Fiery Foods Challenge, in Albuquerque, New Mexico USA.”
You may be seen Bluebird’s newish flavour of chips: Sour Cream With A Dash of Kaitaia Fire. If you haven’t, don’t look for it. It doesn’t have enough punch to do the Kaitaia Fire name any kind of justice.
I just got my second bottle of Hakanoa Ginger Syrup, having finished the first bottle in about a month. This time, I got the supersized 750ml version so I won’t be shy experimenting even more with this ingredient. Being “mostly” organic, this ginger syrup coupled with Kaitaia Fire make a great pair.
Pork Ribs with Tomato-Ginger Sauce
1 roasted capsicum
1/3 cup ginger syrup
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Kaitaia Fire Chili Sauce (I used the kiwifruit version)
1 kg pork ribs
- Put all the ingredients except for the pork ribs and oil into a large cup or bowl and blitz with a stick blender to form a smooth paste.
- Using a brush, generously baste the ribs using a third of the sauce. Cover and refridgerate for 2+ hours. I left it overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce.
- Preheat oven to 150°C.
- Remove ribs from fridge and baste again with a third of the sauce. Cover and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours.
- After this stage you can either:
A) Turn up the heat to 200°C, cut into single ribs, rebaste with the last of the sauce, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
B) Cool and refrigerate until you need the ribs. When you do, remove from fridge, cut into single ribs, add a tablespoon of oil to a hot frying pan or heated BBQ grill, rebaste with the last of the sauce and grill the ribs until the sauce has caramalised slightly and the ribs are hot.
- Serve with green beans and/or rice and/or coleslaw and/or potato salad and with more chili sauce on the side for those that like it hot.