Just over a month ago Kristian and I headed out into the beautiful Peak District for a lovely day hike through the countryside. We finished our walk at ‘Thor’s Cave’, a huge limestone cavern where remains from the Palaeolithic period were discovered. As with most walks that Kristian and I do out in the Peaks, this hike provided us with stunning scenery, fresh air and allowed me to make some new animal friends (my favourite being the gorgeous, little pony we encountered andnamed ‘Stumpy’)
During our journey up through into the mountains, we passed several wooden signs indicating the way to little farm shops along the road. Naturally, we stopped at one on the way back. We pulled in the driveway and were greeted by a poor little lamb running around the paddock with a white bucket on his head with his two lamby friends following behind and a young girl running to call her farmer Dad to save the day (which he did).
We parked next to the pig pen and said hello to the piglets, but they were busy chasing their friend who had discovered a lone carrot amongst the hay. He would run and hide in the little wooden house and they would follow after him. Then out he’d come again, finding himself a cosy corner at the back of the pen, thinking he was safe before being bombarded again by his siblings wanting their fair share of that orange treasure.
Watching this little piggy skit had me weak at the knees and brought back the yearning that I feel for a life on the farm.
Inside the tiny farm shop, we discovered that the speciality of this particular farm was lamb and pork (surprise, surprise). After witnessing first hand the glorious existence of the animals on this farm, we were happy to go ahead and buy a bit of meat to enjoy. The pork ribs looked too good to pass up so along with a few other items (including the most amazing rum and raisin ice-cream) we headed home.
After doing my research, I decided that a dry rub would be best for the ribs. I am also a massive fan of a slow cook and came to the conclusion that this would be the only option for the best result. The ribs are cooked wrapped tightly in foil. What this means is that all those lovely juices collect which you then use to make your own BBQ sauce to go with the meat.
Don’t be put off by the time it takes for these to cook. The preparation is so easy that I literally rolled out of bed on a Sunday morning and prepared them, half asleep. All you have to do then is let these little beauties cook on a low heat while you go out and enjoy your day (or do the grocery shopping, like we did) and when you get back, you’ll be tucking into a melt in your mouth lunch or dinner.
Serves 3-4 people
1kg pork ribs (preferably from happy, free range piggies)
Scant 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Extra good sprinkle of Herbamare (optional)
A very generous amount of cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon flour (for the BBQ sauce)
Preheat oven to 120 degrees fan forced.
Combine all spices sugar and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Place the ribs on a sheet of foil, meaty side up. Rub half of the spices on the first side of the ribs then gently turn them over and massage the remaining spice rub into the other side of the meat.
Seal very tightly with foil (make sure that none of those juices escape!)
Place foiled ribs on a metal rack (like one you would use to cool a cake) on top of a baking tray and slow cook for 4-4 1/2 hours.
By this stage, the ribs will have let out their natural juices. After carefully removing from the oven, trim the corner of the foil package and drain the juices into a small pot. Add the flour, whisking thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps. Place on a low heat and bring to a boil ensuring all flour is dissolved.
If you would like to caramelise the ribs slightly, open the foil package cut up the ribs and grill for about 10 minutes (optional).
Especially delicious served with a green salad, a potato salad and garlicky, wilted greens!