My friend Hanneica hanneicaskitchen sent over this recipe for Braaied Spareribs she says, “In South Africa we call cooking a meal over a charcoal fire in the outdoors a braai, the same as you call it a BBQ. The word comes from the Afrikaans ‘braaivleis’, which means literally ‘burn meat’”
For a long time I battled with spareribs on the braai, or even grilling them in the oven, for that matter. They were always either under-cooked, a definite no-no with pork, or the sauce was burned, making them bitter and unpleasant. Then I saw this way of doing them, I think on a TV programme and I couldn’t wait to try them. Making sticky spareribs like this just couldn’t be easier now I know how to get them juicy and delicious.
The ribs can be cooked the day before you need them if you are short of time on the day of feasting. The sauce can also be prepared ahead of time; for the sake of convenience I make up a jar of sauce a day or two before I need it and keep it ready in the fridge. I have seen some recipes that just mix everything together for the sauce, but this sauce definitely needs to be boiled to bring it together. It’s definitely a basting sauce, not a dipping sauce. If you boil the sauce for too long and it becomes thick and gloopy, simply add water, mix it and boil it up to blend again. The sauce should still be a little runny when cold.
2 large racks of pork spareribs
For the sauce:
125ml brown sugar
60ml tomato sauce
60ml sweet chilli sauce, more if you like it spicy
60ml olive oil
30ml soy sauce
30ml Worcestershire sauce
10ml chopped garlic
10ml Dijon mustard
1 chicken stock cube
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cut the spareribs into serving portions and steam them in a steamer for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how tender you would like them. I have done them for only 20-25 minutes and they have been OK, but just a little too chewy. I prefer them tender, almost falling off the bones.
Once the ribs are sufficiently steamed, wrap in aluminium foil and store in the fridge if you are not grilling them straight away.
To make the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, mix together the sauce ingredients and bring them to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
To Grill the Ribs:
Prepare you braai with charcoal at least 4 inches below the cooking grid. Allow the charcoal to burn until it is the required heat for cooking steak. Brush the cooking grid with sunflower oil before putting the ribs on. This helps to prevent them sticking to the grid. Place the ribs over the fire and baste them with sauce repeatedly as they cook. Turn each piece of ribs often so as to prevent the sauce from burning. Each time you turn, baste the top side of the meat. You will need to cook the ribs about 25-30 minutes before they are done.
To serve, cut down between each bone to separate them into holdable pieces. These are definitely for eating with the hands. Lay the ribs on a large platter, place it in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves as they eat.
Clockwise from top right, Mealie bread, sweet and sour carrot salad,
Braaied Spareribs, Honey and Garlic Chicken wings,
Green salad, Braai roasted potatoes.
You can also find Hanneica on Face Book at facebook.com/HanneicasKitchen