The rhubarb has risen up and is at its prime, so the question also arose: what to do with it? It would go well in a barbecue sauce, I thought, and sure enough when I searched there are lots of recipes out there. Most of them suffered from my usual complaint about vegetable-flavoured sweet things: too much sweetener and not enough of, in this case, the rhubarb. Well I fixed that! There is still a lot of sweetener, by my books, but that rhubarb is awfully tart, it has to be admitted. All the better to sing and dance with the rather rich and fatty pork.
I would also give this a try with chicken. Whole legs or thighs sound like the best idea. They would need to be cooked for much less time, of course – probably not much over an hour.
4 to 6 servings
2 1/2 to3 hours – 30 minutes prep
Make the Sauce:
2 cups finely diced rhubarb stalks
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
3 or 4 pods green cardamom
Wash, trim, and dice the rhubarb. Put it in a pot with the vinegar and salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer gently until the rhubarb disintegrates; 5 to 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the ketchup, mustard, and honey. Finely grate the ginger and add it. Crush the cardamom pods and discard the husks. Grind the remaining seeds finely and mix them in.
Cook the Ribs:
1 to 1.5 kilos (2 to 3 pounds) fresh pork ribs
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
If you like, cut the ribs into sections of 2 to 4 ribs. Brush them with the sauce and lay them in a single layer in a shallow baking (lasagne) pan. Bake them for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the ribs are done to your liking. You may wish to turn the ribs and brush them with more sauce half way through the cooking time. Keep the sauce in the fridge and discard any not used, especially if you think there is any chance you have gotten any juice etc into it from the ribs.
Let the ribs rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Last year at this time I made Buttermilk Buckwheat Waffles.