Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sticky Fingers!

Costolette "BBQ", Fagioli Neri, Okra e Riso
BBQ Ribs, Black Beans & Okra and Rice

There is something really wonderful about eating ribs- because you just can't go and start being pretentious about it- you just have to pick them up and use your fingers... and lick your fingers clean after doing so- it's just FUN! Like being allowed to eat like a 5 year old again ;-) and know that everyone else at the table is doing the same!

The important thing about ribs of course, is the marinade that you flavor them with. And the way that your go ahead and cook them. If you have a grill, then of course you are ahead of the game... but if like me, in my little 2 room city apartment, you don't... then you need to do things a little differently...

I decided to do rice as my side dish tonight, as I was also going to prepare okra and black beans with tomato and epazote, which is a Mexican herb that harmonizes really well with beans. So I decided to do some multi-tasking and multi-cooking!

The first thing I did, was to start my rice steaming in my rice cooker. This mix of regular and wild rice does take a little longer to cook- around 20 minutes or so, so that is great for sharing the rice cooker with other ingredients. Once the rice was bubbling away, I set down a steam rack into the rice cooker and laid the ribs on there to steam too. After 3-4 minutes, I added some flavor to the meat... a good sprinkle of Herbs de Provence, salt, pepper and a little finely chopped garlic.

Whilst the meat and rice were steaming, I went about preparing the other ingredients. The black beans came out of a jar but the okra was lovely and tender and fresh. I popped the okra in with the rice to steam for the last 5 minutes, but started the beans simmering slowly.  I added a handful of fresh epazote leaves to them, chopped nicely and finely and some chopped chives and sliced shallotd, along with salt and pepper.

Once the rice is done, remove the ribs, set the cooker to "warm" and make yourself a nice, tangy sauce for that meat!

I made my dressing out of ketchup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy-sauce and then poured it over the already steaming meat. Once they were nicely coated, I popped the ribs into a pre-heated oven for around 15 minutes at a temperature of 350°F.

I flipped the ribs over and added a drizzle of honey and a little oregano. It is best to not do this too early as they will burn or turn bitter- so do it for the last 3-5 minutes, whilst you assemble the okra and beans.

I added some cherry tomatoes for a little extra juiciness, a little more epazote,but simply layered up the okra and beans to make a nice mixture and seasoned with salt, pepper, a little lime juice and some olive oil.

I served the ribs on a bed of rice, with a sprinkle of freshly chopped chives and got busy picking up those ribs with my hands and getting stuck in! What a pretty wonderful dinner! The steaming made the meat both juicy and flavorful as you can see from these last couple of pictures- but as usual- you will need to make some yourself to be sure you like them... but somehow I think you will!! ;-)


  1. Yep, nothing like ribs! I'd gladly get my hands sticky for a bite of this porky goodness!

  2. Ciao Amico! Oh, i know! It's just that it usually doesn't quite make sense going to all the trouble you need to make them for one person, but this way, they were easy and quick to do! Pop them into your rice cooker first for 10 minutes... Who knew? I was really happy with the result! Glad you liked it too! Saluti! Francesco