The first time I grilled pork “ribs” seasoned with mint jelly and coriander paste, I wasn’t able to take photos. The second time, they got a bit burned because I was too busy blogging and forgot to check the time. Last night, they were perfect. But it’s more than just about the right temperature and cooking time. I read a tip recently about massively salting meat hours or even days prior to grilling and the result is pretty amazing.
The “ribs” were cooked using a technique I picked up from Steamy Kitchen. The article was really a tip into how to turn cheap cuts of beef into tender steaks. But I figured there was no reason why it should not apply to pork as well. If you’re wondering why the word ribs is enclosed in quotation marks, just read on.
The technique is to massively salt the steak and to let it sit overnight in the fridge. Now, when I say salt, I don’t mean sprinkling it with salt. The article said to liberally coat the meat with salt. Before grilling, wash the meat then dry with paper towels. Then, you add your pepper or whatever spices you prefer and put the meat on the grill.
The way it was explained, if you add salt to the meat just before cooking, the combination of the heat and the salt on the surface of the meat will draw out the moisture from the meat and turn it tough and dry. On the other hand, if you allow the salt to penetrate the innermost part of the meat, that doesn’t happen. You can read the entire article and view the illustrations which make everything more understandable. Suffice to say that when I applied the technique to an uncut chunk of pork belly (with bones), not only did the meat come out moist, it was also super tender.
a whole slab of pork belly, skin and surface fat removed (you can ask the butcher to do this for you)
about a cup of rock salt
4 tbsps. of mint jelly
2 tbsps. of coriander paste
half a head of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
lots of freshly ground pepper
Cooking procedure :
Spread the salt and garlic on the entire surface of the uncut pork belly, rubbing them into the meat. Place in a container, cover and let sit in the fridge overnight.
Rinse the meat under the tap then pat dry with paper towels. Since the meat is firm from chilling, it’s easy to cut it. So, cut the meat between the bones so that you have perfect-looking “ribs”. A kilo and a half of pork belly should yield around 4 large “ribs”.
Mix together the mint jelly, coriander paste and add lots of freshly ground pepper. Rub the mixture into the pork and let rest for another hour.
Grill the pork. Over charcoal or in the convection oven. I grilled mine in the oven at 170oC for about 20 minutes. For best results, use a wire rack so that the hot air touches all parts of the meat and ensure even browning.
Serve with your vegetables of choice (we had corn which I grilled along with the pork).