By Chris De La Rosa
PRIDE Cuisine Specialist
We’ve grilled them, done a sort of “oven BBQ” during the winter and this coming summer I plan on doing a classic smoked/jerk over a charcoal fire, but for now I’d like to share yet another way to do pork ribs. You’re free to use the short ribs type you get at the Asian markets (ones sold for making dry garlic ribs), baby-back or your regular rack of pork ribs for this recipe. Using the classic Caribbean technique of ‘stewing’ to start, then we’ll slowly braise these ribs until they tender and packed with rich Caribbean flavor.
3-4 lbs pork ribs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 slices ginger
1 medium onion (diced)
1 medium tomato (diced)
2 birds eye pepper (bird pepper – chopped)
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 1/2 tablespoon golden brown sugar
2.5 – 3 cups water
4 sprigs thyme
Important! if doing this recipe gluten free, kindly go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.
Give the ribs a quick wash with cool water and the juice of a lime or lemon (not mentioned in the ingredient list). Drain and get to seasoning. Add everything to the bowl EXCEPT the thyme, veg oil, brown sugar and water. The Bird Pepper is optional.. providing you want a kick to the dish.. you may use any spicy pepper you have on hand or like. Mix well and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least a couple hours.
In a heavy pot over a high flame heat the vegetable oil, then go in with the brown sugar. This step is crucial (we DON’t want to BURN the sugar). Using a dry spoon, stir the sugar until it starts to melt. It will go frothy, then amber in color (act fast). Here is where you add the season pork ribs to the pot. If the sugar goes black. STOP and start over or it will have a bitter taste. (watch the video below for more help with this).
Yes, it’s ok if the marinade goes into the pot as you add the pieces of ribs. But try to keep some back in the bowl. In the same bowl you marinated the ribs add the water and swish around so you can pick up all that goodness to add to the pot later. Stir well to coat the ribs with the ‘stew’ base we started off with. Turn the heat down to medium/low, cover the pot and let that go for about 10 minutes (stir a couple times). It will sprout it’s own natural juices.
After which it’s time to infuse the ribs with the color and flavor of the brown-stew. Remove the lid and crank up the heat to high – we want to burn off all that liquid. Be sure to stir. It will take about 4-6 minutes.
After all the water is gone and you start seeing the oil we started off with at the bottom of the pot, it’s time to add the water we had in the bowl we marinated the ribs in. Stir and bring to a boil. As it comes to a boil, top with the sprigs of thyme, reduce the heat to a simmer and place the lid on the pot.
Stir every 10-15 minutes. After about 1 hour and 25 minutes, you can now personalize this dish a bit. Taste for salt and adjust to your liking and you can now crank up the heat and burn off the liquid until you have a gravy the consistency you like. If our mom was doing this she would burn off ALL the liquid, but in my case I allowed it to go on high for about 5 minutes.. until I had a somewhat thick gravy or sauce. (I had this with rice).
These Caribbean stewed ribs are a great side-dish for your next family dinner or it can certainly make an impression the next time you hit a potluck at work.. go ahead and take all the praise. You can always start the “stewing” process on the stove-top and finish off in a slow cooker if you wanted.
This recipe is courtesy of Gourmand Award winning cookbook author and founder of CaribbeanPot.com, Chris De La Rosa. With over 450 printable recipes with step by step cooking instructions and demo videos, PLUS over 1 million social/fan connections globally every month, CaribbeanPot.com is the world’s #1 resource of Caribbean Culinary Culture. Connect with Chis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot/.