Their flagship restaurant is down in Bondi and I have spent many a summer’s evening getting a rack of pork ribs, smothered in Monkey Gland sauce (sounds so wrong, but it tastes so right), taking them over to the grassy edge of Bondi Beach to devour those delicious, sweet, smokey ribs and washing it all down with a long-neck of Cooper’s Green ale whilst watching the surfers catch waves in the last of the day’s rays, my hands and face all glistening brown with the delectable mess.
I used to love living at Bondi Beach.
I lived there for many years. It was the kind of place that you go out for a loaf of bread and you’d get home three days later. I used to always keep a toothbrush in my handbag because you never knew what adventures you were going to have…….was it Bondi Beach, or was it just youth?
These days I can’t leave home without a nappy bag and child kit the size of freakin’ Texas, and social events are planned at least a week in advance……who is this imposter???
When I go to Bondi now, and I’m happy that I don’t live there any longer. I just smile at all the young and fabulous actor/model/designer wannabes.
I smile because they’re invincible. I smile because their butt is hanging out of their pants; the guys from the top, and the girls from the bottom.
I smile because I used to be them.
I wonder if some ex-Bondi, yummy-mummy ever came in from the ‘burbs and smiled at me dancing on a pub table with a lampshade on my head?
Probably. ‘Tis the circle of life, no?
I wouldn’t want to live there again. Nowadays, I just see dirty streets, with piles of used, dumped furniture left lying around, and run-down apartment blocks that owners refuse to fix because they know that people will pay the exorbitant rents regardless of peeling paint and carpet that your feet sticks to.
The cafe scene is totally happening and the bars are really cool, but seeing as I’m barely happening or cool these days, it’s a moot point!
Anyway, I really miss those ribs.
I’ve cooked ribs a couple of times but usually used a bought marinade that claims to be ‘Down-Home Southern Style Seriously Good Rib Sauce’ or some such. I knew I needed to venture into the land of the Monkey Gland and find something that would ease the longing for Hurricanes and transport all who gnawed the bones to the grass of Bondi, if only for a minute, with the laughter of ghosts of backpackers and D-grade actors past tinkling in our ears.
Did these do it? Were they the ‘down-home’ pig ribs I was hankering for?
Well, butter my ass and call me a biscuit…..yes, sir, they were all that and more. A hushed voice at my table even muttered the words, with a mouthful of rib,
‘Better than Hurricanes’.
I ordered American style pork ribs at the Vietnamese butcher and they went away and cut them for me. There was a moment of panic when I pulled them out of the bag at home and they were long sides of pork belly. Totally wrong for this.
But I was committed. I removed a slab of belly, and retained the ribby goodness and got a’marinating those little puppies.
This is how it went –
Yield : 2-3 whole racks of ribs, for 4-6 people
What you will need :
- 2-3 full rack pork/lamb ribs (for me, the only rib is pig)
- 2 large alfoil roasting trays (turkey size) and a basting brush
For the marinade :
- 1 cup of Brown sugar
- 1 onion
- 2 big cloves garlic
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of BBQ sauce
- 1 cup of Coca- Cola (full strength) (buy 2 litre bottle, rest is used for cooking)
- ½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of Worstershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic
- 2 tablespoons smokey paprika
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- salt and pepper
Put your onion and garlic and rosemary into a food processor and blitz to a fine paste.
Chuck all other ingredients into a bowl and throw in your onion paste. Stir well to combine.
Put ribs in roasting pan with half the marinade and leave to marinate overnight.
This part can totally be done in the oven, if you so desire, but it was a stinking hot day so outside was better for me….also, you do get a bit of a BBQ flavour throughout the meat if it’s done in the BBQ. Heat up BBQ with lid / Webber to constant 120-150 degrees with lid down.
Place ribs in BBQ but not on direct heat. I had the grill on with the ribs sitting on the plate next to it.
Pour remainder of 2 litre coke into roasting pan until ribs are fully submerged. Cover with foil and punch about half a dozen holes in it.
Cook for 5 hours at no more than 150 degrees. Your juice will barely boil, if at all, and mine did not seem to reduce much at all.
Take rib tray off BBQ and fire up grill section to blazing hot. Put ribs on grill and baste with remaining marinade (don’t be shy with slapping on the marinade)
Turn ribs every 5 mins and keep on basting generously. Do this for about 30 minutes until marinade caramelises and a sticky, gooey, gorgeous crust forms.
Remove from grill and tuck in….ensuring you get the full ‘smile’ of rib sauce.
Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.
To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.