14 BITES
MORE

beer braised ribs with chimichurri

December 5, 2011

It is, perhaps, not quite traditional to be eating ribs for a Christmas lunch but that is what we will be doing here at onebitemore central this year.

It wasn’t our original plan though, oh no. That plan involved (and still involves) turkey and prawns and oysters and some sort of delicious pudding.

The ribs are an add on. By special request of everyone who managed to snitch a morsel this Saturday past. And even one who didn’t. One who stared at them plaintively whilst inhaling deeply. One who asked if “please Cherlie” we could have the ribs for Christmas. “Please?

You might recall, somewhere lost in the header of my previous post on cookies, me mentioning a Christmas lunch this Saturday just past. A gathering of girls who spent six years at school together almost ten years ago.

(TEN?! How on earth did that sneak up on us? The nerve.)

And in the ten years since, we’ve gathered almost every Summer without fail for our annual “Christmas” meal. The first, if hazy memories are to be trusted, involved me chopping vegetables for hours in preparation for a “make your own vietnamese rice paper rolls” party. Half way through, ExZiFH (what can I say, high school nicknames stick) oversoaked one too many sheets of rice paper and ended up eating a big bowl of salad instead. That was the beginning of a tradition.

The next year is fuzzy. We remember who came. We remember the sometimes ridiculous Kris-Kringle gifts (a vase shaped like an urn / a collapsible child sized laundry hamper / the Phantom of the Opera on DVD) but not, strangely, what we ate.

And then the themes started. We had “traditional Christmas” year, replete with a ham, a turkey, salads, a Coles deli platter and a giant pudding.

We had “Aussie seafood” year and dripped prawns and oyster juices all over ourselves before watching the Britney concert DVD on a computer screen (it was a gift and no, I didn’t supply nor leave with it).

We had “oops-we-almost-forgot-Christmas” year in a park surrounded by festival goers at the end of January.

So when the email went around this year, there was a pause as we considered the options for our theme.

“Argentinian?” asked Tissue.

“An Argentinian barbecue! With ribs!” said SMP.

“I refuse to stand in front of a barbecue for five hours” said Caralone, always the voice of reason.

“I’ll do the ribs” said Monkey. (Ok, so I was nicknamed Monkey at school. Something to do with Monkey Magic. And long flailing limbs.)

And with that, it was settled. An “Argentinian-ish” barbecue of sorts for Christmas!

The ribs were the first dish to disappear. Tender. Smoky. Slightly malty from the beer and drowned in a piquant, chilli kicking chimichurri.

My mother had me make an extra batch for dinner that night to stop the family from suffering food envy. We’re having them again for Christmas. And you can too.

(I know in my last post I said I was in charge of dessert, and I can’t wait to show you what I came up with… I’ll give you a little hint but the rest will have to wait for next time!)

beer braised ribs

You’ll need to start this recipe the night before or, if you’re making them for a dinner, early that morning. The reward? Tender, succulent meat that just about falls off the bone. A crisp charred edge. And a spicy kick that will have you reaching for seconds (and thirds!) This quantity will feed six as a main, or eight if you’re willing to be friendly.

When it comes to buying the ribs, make sure you get some meaty spare ribs. The kind with an inch of meat sitting above the bones like in the picture. Your butcher should be able to slice them across the bone into two skinnier strips if you ask.

you will need:

2kg pork spare ribs (sliced in half across the bone)
1tbsp white pepper
2tsp black pepper
1tbsp salt
2tbsp brown sugar
1tbsp smoked paprika
2tsp dried chilli flakes
1 bottle of beer (375ml)

how to do it:

1. Mix everything except the pork ribs and the beer in a bowl and mix well to form the spice rub.

2. Massage the spice rub into the ribs, trying to get an even coverage across all of the meat. Let the ribs sit in the spice rub for about an hour.

3. Preheat your oven to 150C (or, if it can go lower, to around 135C). Lie the ribs in a roasting dish and then pour the bottle of beer around the ribs.

4. Roast the ribs in the oven for between 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Transfer the ribs to a bowl or container with a lid and refrigerate overnight.

5. The next day the ribs will be surrounded by a jelly like substance and a layer of white fat. discard most of the fat, leaving any that clings to the ribs. Crank up the barbecue to high. Grill the ribs on the barbecue until the outside is darkened and crisp. You’ll get quite a lot of fire as the fat melts around the ribs – this is a good thing. It adds to the smoky flavour.

6. Meanwhile, scoop the jelly into a small saucepan and heat until it is liquid again. If you would like a thicker gravy, mix 2tsp plain flour with 1tbsp of water in a bowl until it forms a white slurry. Tip this into the cooking liquid (previously jelly, now gravy-like) and bring it to the boil for 30 seconds, stirring. It will thicken up and form a beautiful beery, spicy, porky gravy to drizzle over the ribs.

chimichurri

I know, it looks like I’m having you make far more of this Argentinian salsa than would usually be needed for the amount of meat above. But it’s not. You may possibly run out. By the end of the meal I was scooping spoonfuls of chimichurri onto my previously discarded bread roll. It gets better with age too. Three days later, the flavours have mellowed into each other and oh I think I’m going to go make myself a sandwich…

you will need:

2 bunches flat leaf parsley
1/2 bulb garlic (7 or so cloves)
1/2 white onion
2 lemons (zest and juice)
50ml neutral flavoured oil
1/2tsp cayenne pepper
1/4tsp dried chilli flakes
1/4tsp black pepper
1/4tsp salt
50ml olive oil to finish

how to do it:

1. Zest and juice the lemons. Peel the garlic. Wash the parsley and chop off the roots (but hold onto those stalks!) Tear the parsley up into finger lengths. Peel and roughly chop the onion half.

2. Toss everything except the olive oil into a food processor and whiz it up until it is a lovely, slightly chunky paste. Think pesto. Add the olive oil and stir it through gently. This stops it from emulsifying with the lemon juice and gives the chimichurri a nicer texture (or at least, I think so).

3. Serve in giant dollops on top of smoky charred beer braised ribs. Swoon.


  • #1
    December 5th, 2011

    Does that mean you also have a long and extensible sti-never mind.

  • #2
    December 6th, 2011

    You cooked up a feast – looks amazing 😀

  • #3
    December 6th, 2011

    wow the ribs look fantastic! making me hungry :/

  • #4
    December 6th, 2011

    riiiiiiibs and ooh beeeeeeer

  • #5
    bean
    December 6th, 2011

    these are ACTUALLY the Best.

  • #6
    December 6th, 2011

    chimichurri! My favourite “steak sauce”. I love this green version, but there’s a red one too?

    Love this meal!

  • #7
    December 6th, 2011

    Okay, I could almost smell the goodness when you described the BBQing. Massive rib fan, going to try these babies over summer.

  • #8
    koji
    December 7th, 2011

    these were amazing. I think I ate most of the bowl of chimichurri myself…. resorting to putting it on bread when the ribs ran out

  • #9
    December 7th, 2011

    wow, the ribs look amazing!!!!! and i love chimichurri!

  • #10
    December 7th, 2011

    NICE ONE, Sheryl!! Oh man my only experience with chimichurri was when I had that amazing meal at Porteno a coupla months back… LOVED IT! I much prefer your unconventional Christmas BBQ idea, makes it so much more intersting… Yum!! =)

  • #11
    December 8th, 2011

    I love chimichurri! Great twist on the norm for Christmas!

  • #12
    bigbite
    December 9th, 2011

    Give me ribs anytime… despite my most uncomfortable and painful pinched nerve…. the ribs were heavenly. Some comfort to my otherwise lack lustre Saturday.

  • #13
    December 10th, 2011

    What a great idea to do an Argentinian style feast 😀

  • #14
    December 15th, 2011

    Chimichurri, like aioli, makes almost anything taste better!

Shez