Strawberry and rhubarb go oh-so-well in just about everything, so of course it was only a matter of time before someone threw the duo in some ‘que. I found this recipe on the Splendid Table’s website, and immediately knew I had to try it. Like always, I did some improvising with the menu — but wow — this is so so good.
I started out by preheating the oven to 325 degrees and mixing together some kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and paprika, then sprinkled the mixture over some country-style pork ribs.
Then I put the ribs in the fridge to chill. Note: The original recipe called for 3-4 pounds of ribs, but I’m not a human pig so I only made 1 1/2 pounds of ribs. Next, I started slicing up the rhubarb and strawberries, put them in a medium pot and put enough water in the pot just to cover the fruit. I brought the mixture to a boil then continued for another eight minutes.
While the fruit was cooking, I chopped up a half of an onion, then combined all the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.
I used Hennessy instead of bourbon in my recipe, simply because that’s what I had on hand. I wasn’t going to buy bourbon just for a recipe — not this time, at least. Since I was making half the amount the recipe originally called for, I made sure to halve all of the ingredients I used in the dish. (Which was super fun with this one, by the way, since the recipe calls for a zillion ingredients. Oh well. Nothing good ever came easy, right?)
When the rhubarb was tender, I strained the mixture and put it back in the pot. Then I added some olive oil to a large stainless steel frying pan, added in my ribs and cooked them on medium heat, browning the ribs on both sides.
When that was done, I took out the ribs and put the onions in the same frying pan. I cooked the onions for eight minutes, then added the rest of the ingredients that I had already mixed together (the garlic powder, pepper, red wine vinegar, ketchup, Hennessy…the list goes on). Then I stirred in the strawberry rhubarb mixture and added the ribs back in, and flipped them once to coat them with sauce.
Once the mixture was boiling, I covered the pan and put it in the oven and baked it for about an hour and a half.
I cooked it a little less since I wasn’t making as many ribs as the original recipe called for. After the time was up, I uncovered the pan and continued cooking for another thirty minutes or so (I just let it continue cooking while I made some sides to go with the dish). Note: the original recipe said to use a Dutch oven to cook and bake the rhubarbeque, but since I didn’t have one I just used one of my stainless steel frying pans. I made sure to check the specs of my stainless steel set to make sure the pan was oven safe before using it — and mine are oven safe to 550 degrees. So, if you’re like me and want to improvise a recipe, just make sure it’s safe to do so!
So there you have it! This recipe is a real winner. And despite all of the ingredients it took to make the dish, it was fairly easy to make. And it’s delightful. I recommend making some nice flaky biscuits alongside the dish, and a nice vegetable. Such a satisfying savory meal. I’m going to fall into a food coma now.
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
1-1/2 lb boneless country-style pork ribs
1-1/2 c sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 c fresh strawberries, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c Hennessy
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c maple syrup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, combine salt, paprika and pepper. Sprinkle over ribs. Put in refrigerator.
- Slice up strawberries and rhubarb. Put in a medium pot and add just enough water to cover the fruit. Bring to a boil, then cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender.
- Chop up onion and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
- Once fruit mixture is finished cooking, strain the mixture and return to pot.
- In a medium-sized stainless steel frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, ribs and cook over medium heat. Brown ribs on both sides, then remove from pan.
- Add chopped onions to the frying pan and cook for 6-8 minutes. Add in the bowl of remaining ingredients, then stir in fruit mixture. Add ribs back to the frying pan, flipping once and coating with the sauce mixture. Bring to a boil.
- Cover the frying pan and bake for 1-1/2 hours. Remove lid and continue baking for another 30-45 minutes.