So, summer’s sadly starting to draw to a close, and it’s high time I went back to university soon for my second year. Whilst I’m totally quite a bit, dare I say it, excited for a new year with modules I’ve chosen (hopefully wisely!) and a some responsibilities for the societies I really got involved in last year, I’m not all that ready to go back yet. It’s been so calming to be at home, even with all the travelling (I’m just too used to it, haha!) I’ve been doing every single month.
All the better because I get to cook for my family; firstly because I get to do something I love, creating something for the people that I love, and it’s awesome when they fall in love with what I’ve made for them too! Secondly, because it’s easier cooking something interesting for more people than just me at uni on a student budget, haha 😀
So these were a bit of a happy accident. You know, those recipes where you had one idea, but it kinda ends up a bit wonky, you have to go back to square one, but the end result is both a success and a surprise? Love that! And this was one of those moments. I was supposed to have ordered ribs, but only ended up getting a measly 600g of small, short ribs with not all that much meat on…Fine for me alone, I guess at uni, but not quite for the four of us at the house! So I tossed my slow cooked ribs out the window, and replaced them with gently simmered-in-water ribs which were then browned and crisped up on the BBQ, and topped with lashings of rich salsa verde. Um, yes.
Look at it. Look at it. Doesn’t it look amazing (boastful, I know, but these were so good, I can’t underplay it–it would feel like lying to do so)? The sauce is just amazing with the crispy-outside-but-tender-inside ribs, even if it does get everywhere 😀
I may be full now, but basically, I want this again.
To go alongside this heap of deliciousness, and to mask the fact that we had barely any ribs (basically about three-four per person, like a tiny snack!), I made some boiled sweet potato cubes, charred up in a skillet with some cayenne pepper, and roasted up some par-boiled leeks and baby carrots on the BBQ, and served also some leftover bulgur wheat from the previous night. You could totally switch the sweet potato for squash, or the leeks for asparagus if you like (I’m sticking to the orange and the green religiously here)
Serves 4, as a light lunch, or dinner, but feel free to up the quantities for more ribs (I totally recommend it, but also that you double the quantities of the sauce–no scrimping here!)
1 rack of baby back ribs (membrane on other side removed–see here for advice)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
8 whole black peppercorns
8 tbsp of finely chopped parsley (curly or flat, doesn’t matter, I used the latter)
80ml of olive oil
2 tbsp of capers, rinsed and finely chopped
juice of half a lemon
zest of half a lemon
dash of cracked black pepper
1 sweet potato, rinsed, peeled and chopped into inch cubes
4 baby leeks, rinsed
handful of baby carrots, rinsed
First, heat up a large pot of boiling water. Add the ribs (half if need be), the onion and peppercorns. Turn down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the ribs from the liquid and let them drain on paper towels. Allow to cool down.
Meanwhile, cook the sweet potato in boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and let cool. Reserve the liquid, and par-boil the leeks and baby carrots for around 8 minutes in the sweet potato water, adding a few cups extra if need be (boil for longer if you prefer your veggies softer, but it’ll be more difficult to BBQ them the longer you boil them). Remove from heat, and drain.
When ready, heat up a skillet and pan fry the sweet potato lightly, so that the outsides become a little bit crispy, and season with salt and cayenne pepper if desired. Meanwhile, brush the ribs on both sides with honey and then olive oil. Rub the remaining veggies, apart from the sweet potato, in olive oil too. Finally, mix together the parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, capers and black pepper. Leave aside. Remove the sweet potatoes from the heat.
Heat up the BBQ, and when hot, grill the ribs on both sides until browned. As they’re browning, add the oiled vegetables, and turn them regularly to crisp up on all sides. The vegetables should be hot, but still quite crunchy.
Remove all from heat. Serve up the ribs, spooning over all the salsa verde (please be generous!), and serve alongside all the vegetables. Enjoy!