Recipe: Slow cooked pork ribs with beer barbecue sauce

Melting pork with beer barbecue sauce.

Melting pork with beer barbecue sauce. - Credit: Archant

Make our sticky beer barbecue glazed pork ribs for National Barbecue Week.

One of my favourite cookbooks (I'm ashamed to admit) isn't by the likes of Heston, Gordon, a Roux brother, or even Jamie. Nope, the most dog-eared compendium of cooking I love is a sauce-splattered, flour and batter-smothered copy of David Rosengarten's It's All American Food.

The James Beard award-winning tome is picture-free (which some will hate) but is absolutely ram packed with recipes from up and down the States, taking into account the regional specialities, and dishes that have passed through generations and cultures.

At this time of year I'm drawn to the sections on Louisiana and Georgia, where there are more rubs, pickles and barbecue ideas than you can shake you tongs at.

The alchemy of almost curing meat in spices before grilling never ceases to amaze me. Even a simple rub mixture, left to do its magic overnight, will impart more flavour than seems possible.

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Over my years cooking with the book I've come up with my own collection of barbecue recipes in homage to those Southern states that take grilling to another level.

In this recipe, slices of pork belly get the triple treatment. First they're slow-cooked in the oven with rhubarb to tenderise (some chefs use papaya or even kiwi). After, they're covered in a mildly spiced rub. And when you're ready to cook, you douse them in barbecue sauce.

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You'll get two jam jars of sauce out of the recipe and it will keep in the fridge for about a week or freezes well. I used Adnams Easy Up IPA, but you can choose any light, citrusy beer of your choice.

Slow-cooked pork with beer barbecue sauce

(serves four as part of a barbecue spread)


8 pieces bone-free pork belly, 2 sticks rhubarb roughly chopped, oil for frying

For the rub: 1/4tsp cayenne pepper, 1tsp ground cumin, 2tsps ground sweet paprika, 1tsp dried oregano, 1tsp brown sugar, 1tsp sea salt, 1tbsp ground black pepper

For the sauce: 1 large red onion peeled and thinly sliced, 200g ketchup,40g brown sugar, 175ml lager, 3tbsps honey, 400ml tomato passata, 3tbsps English mustard, 3tbsps cider vinegar, 1tsp sea salt, 1tbsps garlic powder, 2tsps orange zest, 1tsp black pepper, 1tsp sweet ground paprika


Mix together the rub ingredients and set aside.

For the sauce, fry the onion in 2tbsps oil until very soft. Add the sugar and turn the heat up to caramelise. Add the other sauce ingredients, bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Place the pork in a deep ovenproof dish with the rhubarb and cover with water by 1ins. Place in the oven at 130C and bake for two hours. Remove the pork, pat dry, and place in a dish with the rub. Cover all over. The pork can now sit in the fridge for up to two days until you're ready to use it.

To cook, bring the pork out of the fridge for one hour then place on a hot barbecue. Glaze with the sauce and cook until sticky and hot.

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