Tasty intercostals… that is what our family calls ribs. Mostly because the meat you are eating when you eat ribs is the intercostal muscles – one of the muscles of respiration that lie between the rib bones.
Tonight’s dinner was Ribs, cooked very slowly until they were tender. I used some of the wonderful pastured pork that I got from Spraggs Meat Shop – we picked up half a pig that we had ordered from the Calgary Farmers Market yesterday, and I cooked the 2 packets of ribs that was included in our order.
I did a relatively simple spice rub, roughly based on this recipe for Paleo Oven Baked Pork Ribs from Paleo Cupboard, but with a few changes to make it my own. I simmered them in water for an hour because experience has taught me that the ribs from this pork can be a little tough unless they get some moist heat during the cooking process. They were then allowed to cool, rubbed with the spice rub and baked in the oven for 3 hours. Then to give them a nice crust, I finished them on the grill for a few minutes. Then I made a BBQ sauce to dip the ribs in and served the whole lot with coleslaw and sauteed chard that had some bacon and garlic added.
Because of the nightshades that these recipes contain, they are AIP stage 4 reintroductions. When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.
Tasty Intercostals (Pork Ribs)
4lb pastured pork ribs (this was both packets of pork ribs that came from our half pig)
1 tbsp unrefined sea salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Take your ribs and cut each piece in half so that they will fit in a large pot of gently simmering hot water. I had 4 pieces of rib, so I ended up with 8 pieces in all. I simmered them for 1 hour, skimming off any foam and sediment that was produced. Because I didn’t want to waste this, I gave it to the dog.
After an hours simmering, I removed the ribs and transferred them to the fridge so that they could cool enough for me to handle. Meanwhile I kept the cooking liquid simmering for another couple of hours to reduce it to about 1/3 of it’s original volume. That was then transferred to a jar in the fridge to be used in the future as part of a tasty pork broth/stock. (And actually I did use a little of this in the BBQ sauce that I made later on and also as a little extra liquid for cooking the greens).
Once the ribs are cool enough to handle, remove them from the fridge, mix all the spices and the thyme together and rub it in to all sides of the rib pieces so that they are evenly covered.
Preheat the oven to 121C/250F and cook the ribs in this relatively cool oven for 3 hours until tender turning them every half hour or so.
Finish the ribs on a hot grill for a few minutes on each side to brown and get a nice crust.
Cut the ribs between the bones to serve.
Serve with a BBQ sauce, coleslaw and greens cooked with bacon and garlic.
Paleo BBQ Sauce
makes about 1 1/2 cups
2 tbsp coconut oil – melted
1 156ml/5oz can tomato paste
1/2 tsp Sriracha/hot sauce
1 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce (I know soy sauce is not strictly Paleo, but I figure that because it is fermented the little amount I use won’t matter. I do make sure to buy a wheat-free soy sauce. If you prefer it, use Coconut Aminos)
1 tbsp ready made mustard
1/4 cup red wine (I was going to add water, then I saw some leftover red wine and used that instead. You could add water or broth if you prefer)
1/4 tsp ground all spice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup pork broth (leftover from cooking the pork ribs) – optional
Mix all the ingredients together in a pan and simmer gently for a few minutes to combine all the flavours. Use the pork broth the achieve the consistency that you like – you may not need it all.
This sauce can be used to baste the ribs while cooking them or as a dip for the ready cooked meat.
3-4 cups shredded cabbage (I used a mix of red and white cabbage for this)
2 carrots – grated
1 bunch green onions – chopped
1/4 cup homemade mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt (if you don’t do dairy, you could use the thick cream from the top of a can of coconut milk)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp flax seed oil
unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and serve.
Greens Cooked with Bacon and Garlic
1 big bunch of Chard – chopped (Keep the stems separate from the greens but chop them too)
3 cloves garlic – crushed
6 rashers pastured bacon
a little pork or bone broth – optional
This recipe uses some of the awesome pastured bacon we get as part of our half pig. I used some wonderful rainbow chard that I bought at the farmers market, but any greens would work well. Just use what you have.
Chop the bacon finely and place in a heavy skillet. I have a cast iron one that I love. Allow to cook slowly over a very low heat so that the awesome baconny goodness (AKA bacon fat) renders out without the bacon burning. The aim is to have crisp bacon and a fair amount of bacon fat to cook the greens in. It will take time. Don’t rush it or you will burn your bacon. Toss in the garlic, turn up the heat a little and allow the garlic to cook for a minute or two. Again, don’t have the heat too high – you don’t want your garlic to burn. Burned garlic tastes horrible! Then add the chard stems and toss about in the garlicly bacon fat until slightly tender. This may take around 5 minutes. After this add the greens and toss in the fat until wilted. You may need to add a little liquid – I did, so I added some more of the pork broth. But you could use bone broth, water or anything else you fancy.
Serve it all together and nom those Ribs. Mmmmmmmmm Tasty Intercostals!
And this is what Hubby did with it all: