We have a great local butcher.
The other week, I was in there and had my head turned by some mighty fine racks of ribs he had in the chiller cabinet. I bought 2 racks, intending to feed them to the children as a playdate tea, but I got my weeks wrong, and the ribs went in the freezer.
This can only have been a good thing, as it meant we could BBQ them last weekend in what will surely be pretty high up on my list of "best weekends of the year" - even though we've only had just over half the year.
Yes, we had a hot, sticky and fairly slow journey to darkest Suffolk on Friday night, but once we were there, well, everything was brilliant. The site is very much 'of the moment' - plenty of bunting and hand written signs around, low density camping. A few Dorset bell tents to rent, the option to camp in the woods, Swattesfield Campsite is one I would definitely recommend if you like low key relaxed camping. It's just quite a long way from Hampshire for the weekend...
The weather was awesome, the campfire burned bright at night and the Pimms flowed. The children were occupied in the woods that surrounded the camping area, and the adults were mostly occupied with a wood fired pizza oven that was on the site (of which, more in another post), and we had a gourmet BBQ on Saturday night. And then Murray won Wimbledon as we chuntered back down the M11 in the sweltering heat of Sunday afternoon. Pretty much perfect.
So back to the ribs, which were our contribution to the gourmet BBQ. Ribs are great at any time, but marinaded and cooked over hot coals, they take on a smoky loveliness that can't be beaten. Not the cleanest and tidiest things to eat, but, you know, who cares?
The marinade is based on the one Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall includes in his fantastic Meat book. In a fit of whirlwind organisation, I managed to decant about half the ingredients into their appropriate amounts into various small containers, and then just chucked in the bottles of anything else I needed into the van, but forgot the recipe - not even in scribbled form, so once the time for marinading came round, I had to wing it.
I should say that Pimms had been consumed at this point, but not too much, and so I'd take this as a guide rather than as a definitive recipe. Just keep tasting as you go...
For 2 racks of ribs - approximately 24 ribs in total. I didn't count. I was drinking Pimms.
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground salt and pepper
sherry vinegar to taste - probably about 3 tablespoons
Mix everything together and marinade the ribs for a good hour or 2 - longer if you can.
Cook on a suitably heated BBQ (let your friendly BBQ king take over at this point, if this is not you). They will take 10-15 minutes, may be 20 depending on how much meat they have on them.
Serve as you like. We had potato salad and a rather fancy broad bean (double podded no less, at the insistence of Mrs L) and chorizo couscous. We do like to camp in style...
I'm linking up to the Four Seasons Food challenge hosted by Anneli at Delicieux and Louisa at Chez Foti which has BBQ as the theme this month.