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Tastes of Home part three - Spare ribs Irish style

By March 14, 2015 , , , , ,

On St Patrick's day and I always like to cook my favourite dish which is spare ribs and cabbage. 
I was glad to find out when I moved to the Netherlands that spare ribs were very popular here, but not the spare ribs I grew up with.

When you think of ribs, you probably have a vision in your mind of barbecue ribs or Chinese ribs with a sticky sauce, well think again. In Ireland, we do have the BBQ versions but we also have a salted or cured version which is what I grew up eating. It was only when I moved to the UK and found that spare ribs as I knew them (cured) didn't exist in butchers and if I wanted Irish spare ribs, I would have to cure them myself.

I thought it would be a long drawn out process but like curing your own bacon it is a very simple process, but takes time. 
Allow yourself up to 7 -12 days to cure the ribs before cooking, depending on how salty you like them. 

So if you follow the method that I used for making your own bacon then you are halfway there. 

30g salt to 1 kg ribs

Rub the salt all over the ribs, making sure they are completely covered
Either vacuum pack or place in a ziplock freezer bag and place in the fridge for 7 - 12 days
If using the freezer bag method then ensure you turn the bag every day during the curing period

 First rub the salt cure into the ribs, then either vacuum pack the ribs and leave for up to 12 days in the fridge or place in a plastic ziplock bag in the fridge and turn the ribs every day.

The next stage is the cooking and the traditional way to serve this is as a one pot dish.

Spare ribs with potatoes and cabbage

1 kilo cured spare ribs

1/2 a head of spring cabbage (separated into leaves with mid vein removed)
4 potatoes washed and quartered, no need to peel if you so wish.

Wash the ribs to remove excess cure or salt
Place in a pan of water and bring to the boil
Lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours until they are almost coming apart
Then add the cabbage to the pot
After 10 minutes add the potatoes
Check the potatoes for done-ness after 7 minutes (a knife should pierce them easily).
Drain the water from the pot.
Serve and enjoy!

Growing up we served this with the ribs taken out of the pot and placed on one plate where everyone helped themselves from (or in my case tried to eat as many as possible) and the potatoes and cabbage on other plates.
With the potato and cabbage I like to mash them together with some butter, but that's my preference.
You can also serve this with cally (aka champ), which is mashed potatoes with scallions.

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  2. Thanks , tried to find an eatery no luck no one served this on menu need to cook at home .

  3. thankyou, live in Andover England, from Liverpool. They look at you like your stupid when you ask for bacon ribs here. The only way to get them is if anyone goes to Liverpool they have orders to bring bacon ribs back.

  4. Love them from Liverpool too but live by Toronto will do this recipe thanks

  5. what type of salt do you use to cure? a curing salt aka pink salt or just a regular type of table salt such as kosher?

  6. We have loads of bacon ribs in Liverpool thank god!

  7. Manchester UK 1950s, my mother would buy corned ribs. Yum! They don’t exist in the USA. Thanks ever so much.

  8. As a compliment to the salt you can add brown sugar to the cure mix

  9. I had this dish when visiting my gram in Ireland. When I came back no one knew what I was talking about when I tried to describe the dish, the idea of boiled ribs also turned them off. So glad I have a recipe now and I’m not crazy for imaging salty soft ribs!