Dry-Rub Pork Ribs Recipe

Served with corn muffins and a split pea and ginger purée, these crispy oven-baked ribs from the authors of Fresh: Seasonal Recipes Made With Local Foods, are perfect any time of year.

Corn Muffins
2 cups cornmeal
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
2 cups whole milk

Dry-Rub Pork Ribs
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 racks pork back ribs* (each 1-1/2 lb.)

* Make sure you buy the pork back ribs, which are cut from the loin, rather than the side ribs, which come from the belly and have less meat.

Split Pea-Ginger Purée
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup dried split green peas, washed thoroughly
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock


Corn Muffins

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F.

Step 2: Butter muffin tins, then lightly dust with flour.

Step 3: Place cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir well to combine. Add corn kernels and green onions and mix lightly. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

Step 4: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with vegetable oil until well combined. Whisk in yogurt, then milk. Pour the egg-milk mixture into the well and stir with a spatula until ingredients are fairly well combined. Do not overmix or your muffins will be tough.

Step 5: Fill muffin tins 2/3 full with batter and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack. The corn muffin recipe makes enough for twenty-four muffins. Leftover muffins will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for two days or frozen for up to one month.

Dry-Rub Pork Ribs

Step 1: Combine brown sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, fennel seeds, coriander and mustard seeds in a small bowl. Using a mortar and pestle or an electric spice mill, grind this mixture finely. Add garlic and ginger and mix well.

Step 2: Rub ribs on both sides with the dry rub, place in a shallow pan and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.?

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 4: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place ribs on the baking sheet and bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until tender when pierced with a fork between the bones. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Split Pea-Ginger Purée

Step 1: Heat butter in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, ginger and garlic and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add coriander, cumin, thyme and peas and cook until peas are lightly coated with spices, 1-2 minutes.

Step 3: Add vegetable (or chicken) stock and salt to taste. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 1 hour, until peas are tender.

Step 4: Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender or a food processor. Purée until smooth. Strain through a coarse sieve. Discard solids.

Step 5: To serve, cut the ribs into individual servings and arrange them on a large platter. Serve split pea and ginger purée in a bowl on the side along with a basket of corn muffins.

Reprinted with permission from John Bishop, Dawne Gourley and Dennis Green’s Fresh: Seasonal Recipes Made With Local Foods (2007 Douglas & McIntyre).

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