Let’s start the week with the recipe for a dish that’s great for any family gathering. You know, like Christmas. Or a birthday. Pork ribs smothered with brown sugar and rock salt, and slow baked, tightly covered, with sprigs of fresh rosemary, onion slices, whole garlic cloves and lemon slices. When the pork is very tender, it is brushed liberally with barbecue sauce, placed on a rack and broiled / grilled in the oven over very high heat for about ten minutes or until browned and delightfully charred.
It is during the last ten minutes in the oven when the pork turns into something that pleases four of the five human senses. The cooked ribs are a visual delight, a euphoria to the taste buds, a rapture to the sense of smell and, as your hands tear the meat apart, a blissful experience to the sense of touch. What more can one ask for?
And don’t think that this is a complicated recipe. It is very simple. The only thing you have to put some effort into is getting the freshest ingredients.
Start by lining a baking dish with onion slices. Lay the rack of ribs on them then cover with more onion slices, lemon slices and rosemary sprigs.
Slow baking at a low temperature ensures that the pork gets cooked through and reaches that fall-off-the-bone tenderness without turning dry.
The rack of ribs is then transferred to a rack and brushed with barbecue sauce.
It is important that every inch of the surface of the rack of ribs is smothered with barbecue sauce.
The ribs go back into the oven. After broiling at high heat for 10 minutes, the barbecue sauce has caramelized and formed a sticky crust on the ribs.
Rest the ribs for a bit, slice and serve.
That’s not complicated, is it?
Preheat the oven to 200F.
Mix the sugar and salt. Rub all over the pork.
Cover the bottom of a baking dish with sliced onions. Place the pork ribs on the bed of onions, bone side down. Scatter the rosemary, remaining onion slices, garlic and lemon slices on top of the pork. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for about two hours.
At the end of two hours, the pork will be very tender and cooked through. Remove all the herbs, spices and lemon. Remove the pork from the baking dish and transfer on a flat surface (like a chopping board).
Meanwhile, turn up the oven to its highest temperature.
Brush the pork ribs with barbecue sauce (see notes after the recipe).
Brush every visible surface of the cooked pork ribs. Liberally. Really slather on the barbecue sauce.
Then, place the pork ribs, bone side down, on a rack inside a baking dish. The rack is important so that even the underside of the pork will be touched by the oven’s dry heat. The baking dish is to catch the drippings.
Broil / grill for about ten minutes or until browned and lightly charred in spots. Allow to rest for another ten minutes before cutting to allow the meat juices to settle.
Cut between the bones. Place a piece or two on a plate. Serve with fries or mashed potatoes and a nice salad.