Like so many good things in life, this recipe was borne out of a happy accident and necessity. Firstly, I went completely nuts the last time I shopped for groceries because I’m already dreading the day when there’s no fruit around aside from old apples and I have to spent the winter eating greens and goram tubers. Which leaves me with approximately 5,00o times the amount of fruit in my house than could possibly normally be eaten before it goes bad. Secondly, as part of my “don’t always cook the same thing” plan, I excitedly picked up a package of “pork brisket” which was marked as boneless. Only to open it up and discover it was actually bone-in spare ribs. I never buy those out of choice. There are so many better rib cuts out there. So I was faced with a two-fold dilemma: 1) what the heck should I do with all this fruit? and 2) ewwwww, spare ribs – how I make good?. Insert club-stomping noises here.
At which point I fished around in my fruit bowl and came up with two slightly worse for wear peaches and an almost on the way out mango. Sexy. I skinned the peaches (and then rather hastily tore them apart with my hands rather than chop them. Raaawwwwr) and diced the mango, tossing them in a pan with (don’t gag, now) some bacon fat. Like so:
Next came the addition of an onion and a couple jalapenos which may or may not also have been in less than optimal condition. This is kamikaze cookin’ at it’s finest. I’m organized like that. Also entering the fray was the remnants of my tomato paste tube, some chicken stock and a little bit of softening action for all of the above. See?
Once everything had softened up enough, I took everything and liquified it in a blender before adding it back to the pan and tossing in spices, lime juice and apple cider vinegar. No pictures of that crazy-exciting process, sorry. Then I turned this down to a low (non-spattering-all-over-my-kitchen-level) simmer and left it the heck alone for a little over an hour. And that’s the true story of how I came up with this stuff. See how it reduced down, thickened and darkened? Noms.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, I’m way organized. So waaaay before I did any of this, I’d taken those bastard surprise spare ribs, chopped them in thirds and seasoned them before bunging them in the crockpot for 6 hours on low. Mmmm, raw ribs:
After about six hours (there were 4lbs of ribs including bones), these were tender enough that the bones were pulling out of the meat, but the ribs weren’t disintegrating into mush. Mush avoidance is good; pre-heating the broiler is better. So I placed them all on a foil-lined baking sheet, basted them up with sauce and popped them under the magically pre-heated broiler lookin’ like this:
And then I waited an entire torturous five minutes (I possibly had the ribs too close to the element. What? I was HUNGRY) before pulling them out and devouring those suckers. I even managed to put them on a plate first. There was a veggie side dish, but I know none of you care. There’s ribs, duh.
- 4lbs pork spare ribs
- 1 mango, chopped
- 2 peaches, pitted, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (with or without seeds, your preference)
- 4 tbs tomato paste (no added sugar!)
- ¼ cup stock (I used chicken)
- 1 tsp coconut aminos
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tbs apple cider vinegar (more if you like more tang to your sauce)
- 1 tsp garlic
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ancho chile
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Over a medium heat, add your peaches and mango to your cooking fat / oil and let them soften.
- Add your chopped onion, jalapeno, tomato paste and stock; simmer until softened enough to blend, stirring when necessary to avoid burning on the bottom because of all the sugar.
- Tip the contents of your pan into your blender and liquify! Empty the blender full of good stuff back into your pan, turn down the heat and add your coconut aminos, lime juice, apple cider vinegar and spices.
- Simmer at a heat which means it doesn't spatter everywhere! The longer the better really or until it is at your preferred thickness. Mine took just over an hour.
- Chop ribs into approximate thirds (or whatever will fit in your crock pot) and season as you like. I used a mixture of black pepper, garlic, sage, mustard and ancho chile.
- Close the lid and set that sucker for 6 hours on low.
- Leave alone while you make the sauce (in advance and refrigerated overnight is also cool).
- Preheat your broiler, remove your ribs from the crock pot and place them on a foil lined baking sheet.
- Baste your ribs liberally with sauce and broil for approximately 5 minutes or until they look nicely glazed.
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