These are the simplest ribs we cook and they’re a family favourite. A touch of home-made tomato sauce in the sauce gives them a little more depth and sweetness; the vinegar balances that sweetness, and the mustard provides depth.
- 1 kg free-range pork ribs
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 300 ml passata
- 50 ml good quality tomato sauce
- 50 ml Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooking time can vary between 2-3 hours depending on the thickness of your ribs.
1. Preheat the oven to 150˚C.
2. Place the ribs in a deep roasting pan and rub all over with the garlic. Mix the remaining ingredients together, then pour over the ribs and rub in well. You want them well coated. Leave the ribs so the curve of the ribs is facing down.
3. Add 250 ml (1 cup) water to the base of the pan, cover with baking paper (to hold in the steam better), then cover the tray tightly with foil. Bake for about 1½ hours, removing from the oven to baste regularly and adding a little more water if necessary, to ensure the tray doesn’t dry out.
4. When the ribs are starting to become tender, remove the paper and foil, then turn the ribs so the curve is facing up. Bake for another 30 minutes, basting regularly. The trick is to get the sauce to coat the ribs and caramelise, but not burn, and keep enough moisture in the tray so the tray doesn’t burn either. I tend to add a splash of water to the tray every time after I baste.
When the ribs are so tender they pull apart easily, and the sauce is cooked onto them, remove from the oven and serve with veg and spuds or bread, and a decent amount of paper towel for wiping fingers after licking.
Photography by Tim Thatcher