Take a trip to the Deep South with me, put on some southern New Orleans blues music and cook up out this lip smacking cajun pork ribs and Southern rice pilaf. Despite what it may look like, it is actually a very easy recipe to prepare. Which was why I decided to cook this dish for my nephew and wanted to make something that was a little bit fun, yet sophisticated.
This recipe uses the same technique as the Crispy Southern Style BBQ Pork dish. A technique well worth learning for any kind of slow meat cooking – and makes a delicious BBQ sauce to boot! And this cajun rice pilaf is a great way to cook a flavour packed rice dish!
Cajun Pork Ribs & Southern Rice Pilaf Ingredients (serves 4):
dry rub (you can make up loads to use excess next time)
- 8 tbsp brown sugar (I had no sugar so ended up using 1 cup apple syrup which worked great!)
- 3 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp Cajun spice mix (or 1/2 tsp each ground black peppercorns, coriander powder, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme to make your own Cajun spice mix)
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (or any vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce or failing that 1 tablespoon of salt)
- 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
Southern Rice Pilaf:
- 2 cups of long grain rice
- 1 tbsp of Cajun spice mix (or 1/2 tsp each ground black peppercorns, coriander powder, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme to make your own)
- 4 cups chicken stock or water
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 onion
- 1 green capsicum
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 can (400g) black or kidney beans
- 1 handfull fresh coriander
- 1 Pinch sea salt and pepper
Cajun Pork Ribs & Southern Rice Pilaf Method:
Massage the dry rub into the meat all over. Do this vigorously so that the meat is amply covered, don’t be shy! You can do this by putting the meat into a plastic bag first so that you don’t get your hands dirty.
Leave the pork to marinade in the dry rub overnight or at least for an hour in the refrigerator.
Once the meat has finished marinading make up the braising liquid by adding all of the ingredients into the pot and heat gently to melt the honey. Make sure it is done gently and that you take it off the heat as soon as possible. You don’t want the liquid to evaporate.
Take the pork out of the refrigerator and wrap it up in aluminium tinfoil. Do this by tamping across the top of the foil where it meets, leaving the two other sides open. You can close one of these sides, but leave the other open. This is where you are going to carefully pour in the braising liquid. Make sure you transfer the aluminium wrapped meat onto a baking tray before you add any liquid. This will reduce the chance of the foil tearing.
Securely finish wrapping up the meat so there is no leaks and put into an oven preheated to 90°C. Leave of at least 2 1/2 hours and preferably 3 hours.
Carefully take the meat out of the aluminium foil being careful to not spill the braising liquid and to not to burn yourself! Pour the precious braising liquid into a saucepan and put over high heat to reduce it by half. This should take about 15 min and it is not done until you notice the sauce bubbling like caramel sauce. This means that the sugar in the sauce is caramelizing into a thick sticky yummy goo! Once you notice this happening leave over the heat for another 2 minutes.
Southern Rice Pilaf:
Put the rice, water/stock and spices into a pot along with 1 tablespoon of butter. Bring to the boil on a high heat on the stovetop and then turn to a medium/low heat until all of the liquid is absorbed into the rice and the rice is cooked. This should take about 12 minutes.
While the rice is cooking chop the onion, green capsicum, stalks of celery (these ingredients are called the Holy Trinity in Cajun cooking) and garlic into small pieces. You can use a blender to chop them if you have one.
Once the rice is cooked leave it to sit while you heat the rest of the butter in a frying pan. Add the chopped Holy Trinity and garlic to the frying butter and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until they are soft and translucent. Then add the cooked rice and the can of black or kidney beans (rinsed thoroughly).
Season appropriately and serve with freshly chopped coriander.