Rich came across an interesting looking recipe for maple marinated chicken and ribs. It was posted by Nigella Lawson, one of our very favorite food persons, so I thought it’s be a great and good deal to serve for friends, with a few, minor changes – I am not into five spice powder or star anise, so I made do with a couple of substitutions – and all was well.
I overcooked the meats.
Yep. The chicken was decent, but the ribs? Well, remember the turkey from Christmas Vacation? OK, they were not that bad, but close, so, faced with a week to myself while Rich was away on bidness, I decided to make another attempt, using just myself as the guinea pig this time, and, well, you can see the results. Nice!
I used the same basic marinade, but went with country style ribs in place of a regular rack, and went back to my tried and true method for tender, tasty ribs:
Low and Slow.
I should note that my problem with the first dinner was totally on me, I am certain that, had I followed Nigella’s timing and temperature instructions (which I didn’t because… stuff), my other attempt would’ve turned out pretty darned nicely, too.
All that said, let’s make some ribs!
•1 cup apple juice
•1/3 cup maple syrup
•2 tbsp veggie oil
•2 tbsp lower sodium tamari
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•2 shallots, diced
•3 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
•2 tsp Gateway to the North Maple Garlic Seasoning – or your fave steak seasoning
•1 tsp Caribbean Calypso Seasoning or mebbe a bit of citrus zest and Cayenne
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp dried thyme
•Country style pork ribs
*Or, save some of the maple marinade back before you add it to the ribs and use that.
Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, then pour over the ribs in a gallon sized zipper bag, seal, and toss to coat all sides of the ribs. Stash on a rimmed plate (to catch any drippage), and stash in the fridge for a few hours or – always more better – overnight, giving the bag a flip and a squeeze when you think to.
When ready to cook, remove the ribs from the fridge and heat your oven to 300º
Arrange the ribs in a baking pan, drizzle with some of the marinade and those garlic and shallot bits, then cover tightly with foil and cook for one hour.
Flip the ribs, recover the pan, and set back into the oven for another hour.
Drain off and discard any marinade or cooking juices in the pan, return the ribs to the baking pan, and brush with barbecue sauce or reserved marinade.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then flip, brush the other side with barbecue sauce or marinade, and bake for another 20 minutes until the ribs are nicely glazed.
I had mine with some refried black beans I’ve been working on – made from dried beans in the slow cooker and pretty good, but not quite there yet.
Still and all, I saved my version of Nigella’s maple ribs (and chicken, next time), and am pretty confident I can actually serve this to folk without cringing.
Or opening another bottle of wine.