A little bit about the product
Peter Hannan has worked his magic on these bacon ribs which are sourced from local animals and cured to a traditional recipe and then sweetened in a sugar pit for 10 days. This product was awarded 3 stars in 2014 great taste awards and was runner up to the supreme champion. It was awarded the Golden Fork for Northern Ireland (best product in Northern Ireland) and this is the 3rd year running they have received this award. We will be using these glouriously sweet and sticky bacon ribs as part of our daily developing specials in the cloth ear for the next few months .
How to prepare and cook
There is not much preparation in the bacon rib as you want to keep as much of the fat as possible which will keep the pork moist. It is best to cook at a very low temperature for 2-3 hours and by doing so the fat will render to a crisp coating. Turning them regularly will also help to cook evenly. Although its already a perfect bacon rib, it is also a product that you can adapt to adding so many exciting flavours like single malt whiskey, coriander and chilli with our favourite being naga chilli which has a hot but Smokey flavour. Below we have two recipes to whet your appetite and to try at home.
Sugar pit bacon rib with naga chilli, coriander, slaw and sweet potato fries - 4 people
1 Rack of sugar pit bacon ribs
1 oz Naga chilli paste (easily found in any Asian or African super market)
60z Fresh coriander
1 Star anise
6 large Sweet potatoes
1 Red cabbage
1 White cabbage
1 large White onion
3 medium Carrots
1 jar Mayonnaise
1. Pre heat oven to gas mark 4 or 180 o/c
2. Place the bacon rib on a deep tray retaining the sugar syrup until later then place into the oven to colour slightly
3. Once your rib has become golden brown turn the oven down to gas mark ¼ or 110 o/c add your sugar syrup, naga chilli and water then cover with tin foil and place back into the oven for around 1 ½ to 2 hours turning continuously every 20 minutes.
4. Whilst the ribs are cooking finely slice the red cabbage, green cabbage, onion and grate the carrot at this stage it is best to check your seasoning add some salt and pepper to taste as when the mayonnaise is added it is harder to mix evenly through the mixture. Once mixed, place into a container with a lid and place into your fridge until later
5. The next step is to thoroughly scrub the sweet potatoes and remove any remnants of soil. Then cut to the desired size for your sweet potato fries.
6. To begin with the fryer should be no higher in temperature than 120oc once your sweet potatoes are soft place them on a tray and hold in an oven at 100oc .
If you prefer a healthier option you could roughly dice the sweet potato, coat in olive oil and roast them in an oven.
7. When the bacon ribs are cooked then turn the temperature up to 170 o/c to let the fat crisp and the sugars caramelise further.
Slow cooked sugar pit rib, spiced bulgur wheat and beetroot salad with its own cooking liquor - 4 people
1 Rack of sugar pit bacon ribs
6 Cooked beetroots
2 Red onions
30 Cherry plum tomatoes
6oz Bulgur wheat
1 Curly endive lettuce
2oz Basil leaves
20ml Extra Virgin olive oil
1. Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4 or 180 o/c
2. Place the bacon rib on a deep tray (reserving the sugar syrup) then place into the oven to colour slightly.
3. Once the rib has become golden brown turn the oven down to gas mark ¼ or 110 o/c add your sugar syrup, water then cover with tin foil and place back into the oven for around 1 ½ to 2 hours turning continuously every 20 minutes.
4. While the rib is cooking place 1½ litres of boiling water into a pot and season lightly with salt and black pepper, then add bulgur wheat and turn down to gas mark 3. This will take roughly 20-30 minutes to cook. Be careful to not let it dry out so keep an eye on the water level and add extra boiling water if needed. Once cooked, drain in a fine sieve over a sink, once drained, spread onto a large tray to cool.
5. Whilst the wheat is cooling, thoroughly wash the endive in a sink of cold water and remove just the yellow leaf centre as the outer leaves can be too bitter for a salad. Pat dry between 2 cloths, halve the cherry tomatoes, peel and slice the red onions, adding the juice from the cooked beetroot, olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Cut your beetroot into around 8 pieces each and add to mixture. Zest the lemon on the fine side of a grater and then just wait for your rib to finish cooking.
6. Once the rib is cooked remove from tray and cut into 4 portions - not forgetting to keep the syrup in the tray as your cooking liquor- then mix the bulgur wheat with the beetroot mixture and toss lightly adding the endive just before serving.