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...
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.