It never fails. If Bones leaves Tortola, I will get a flat tire or run out of propane or break my leg. None of these things ever seems to happen when he’s around. I think my neighbor, Julian, knows more about my car than Bones does. After all, he’s the one who always seems to be called upon to change a tire or jump a dead battery. So when Bones left for Florida last week I immediately got sick. So did our water pump.
I’m not 100% yet but am definitely on the mend. And we were only without water for one (very long) morning. To celebrate, I made one of Audrey’s favorite foods – baby back ribs. Our gas grill is also sick at present and I wasn’t up to dealing with charcoal, so I baked them in the oven. Not bad for a sick mom.
Look for the tamarind drink concentrate in shops catering to a Caribbean or Indian clientele. You’ll have more glaze than you need for two racks of ribs. This glaze will easily sauce six to eight racks of ribs. I think I might try my leftover glaze on barbecued chicken. Two racks of ribs will serve four light eaters or two greedy buggers. I’ve seen Audrey polish off an entire rack on her own and still have room for dessert.
1 cup tamarind drink concentrate
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup hot pepper jelly
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup mango nectar
1/4 cup papaya nectar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup dark rum
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and squashed
a 1″ piece of ginger peeled
2 racks of baby back ribs
1 tablespoon creole or jerk seasoning
salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the glaze, put all the glaze ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Discard the garlic clove and the hunk of ginger and reserve the glaze until needed.
For the ribs, preheat the oven to 300°. Season the ribs with the creole or jerk seasoning and salt and pepper and put them on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven, brush them generously with tamarind glaze and return them to the oven for 30 minutes. Brush the ribs with glaze again, if desired, then run the ribs under the broiler for a few minutes until the glaze bubbles and browns a bit.
Remove the ribs from the oven, cut them into 2-rib pieces and serve with lots of paper napkins. Serves 2 with leftovers for tomorrow’s school lunch.
I would prefer to buy a whole head of cabbage and slice it myself because I like it very finely shredded (plus it’s fresher). But I’m sick so I cheated and used a bag of pre-sliced slaw mix.
1/2 bag of slaw mix
2 scallions, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of golden raisins
1 small Caribbean seasoning pepper, seeded and finely minced
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
a dash of hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Put the slaw mix, scallions, raisins and chopped pepper into a bowl and mix together. In another small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lime juice, hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss thoroughly and refrigerate until ready to serve. It’s as easy as that. Serves 2 with leftovers.