Oh Jamie…I have had a crush on you for over a decade and I have nearly all of your cookbooks…though I have only cooked from them for the first time with this bbq recipe and I am extremely sad to say, I am disappointed.
Overall, there is a general lack of direction in the recipe. Like add a “bunch” of rosemary or cook on a medium-high grill, until it is “done.” What!? Can’t you give me a guideline? Like is it 2 minutes or 10 minutes? C’mon Jamie…give me a ballpark on these things. This recipe may be fine for someone that is an experienced cook or has made ribs a bunch of times, but for this relative noob in the kitchen and first time rib cooker, it was really frustrating to just sorta wing it at the end after putting in so much prep time chopping and grinding up herbs and garlic.
Oh and another funny thing, despite making a marinade, there is call to actually marinade the meat before you cook it. I did it anyway just to be a bit more efficient with my time…but still, weird right?
I found this especially frustrating because I used my Big Green Egg bbq to cook the ribs, but you need to keep the lid closed to get the heat up…but then you can’t really watch to see what the caramelization status is..and since I’m inexperienced and there was no guideline…well…needless to say, I ended up with some rather charcoal bits and some overcooked areas on the ribs. Though, for whatever reason, it managed to actually add to the flavour.
Two other interesting things about this recipe. First, Jamie recommends you reserve a spring of rosemary to use to baste the ribs with the marinate/cooking juices from the first round of cooking in the stove for it to get all sticky, gooey and caramelized. This is an utterly useless way to do this. Trust me. A sprig of rosemary is a useless “paint” brush.
Second, after the first stage of cooking, the ribs look how they do pictured above, but they aren’t exactly saucy. One actually has to cook down the drippings like a you would a gravy in order to have a sauce for the ribs…but with no proper sauce (to put on the ribs for the caramelization cooking stage), things don’t really get sticky or caramelized.
Despite my slight overcooking and my frustrations with the recipe, they still turned our rather decently and they smelled effing fantastic…and arguably, tasted better the next day then when freshly cooked. I am thinking that, if I ever make ribs again, I’m going to select a different recipe. I cannot say how this recipe works for the other cuts of meat Jamie says you can cook with it. Given it tasted good with the ribs, I would imagine it would taste good on the other meats as well.
Recipe rating: just barely 3 knives out of 5.
Om nom nom,
Jamie at Home: Best Barbecued Meat and Homemade Sauce
For the marinade:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and light your barbecue about 40 minutes later.
- To make your marinade, grind the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and cloves in a pestle and mortar with some salt and pepper. Chop the thyme and rosemary leaves, orange zest and garlic together finely. Put into a bowl with the ground spices, then add the rest of the marinade ingredients and mix together.
- Rub your chosen meat all over with the marinade, really getting it into all the nooks and crannies and, in case of the lamb, the slashes. Place the meat in a snug-fitting roasting pan, top with any leftover marinade and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake the meat in the preheated oven until sweet and tender. This will take 1 1/2 hours for the pork ribs and the lamb (but if you like your lamb pink, it will only need 1 hour), and 1 hour and 20 minutes for the chicken.
- Now you’re going to finish your meat on a medium hot barbecue. Place it carefully on the bars of the barbecue and sear it well on 1 side, then turn it over. While it’s cooking, use your reserved rosemary sprigs to baste the meat with the sticky juices from the bottom of the roasting pan. Keep turning and brushing the meat until you’ve built up a lovely sticky, charred crust, then take it off the barbie and rest it on a serving dish for a few minutes. Meanwhile, pop your roasting pan on the barbie or over a gas burner and let the juices reduce a bit.
- Cut the pork into individual ribs, carve the leg of lamb into slices or tear the chicken into pieces, and serve with a bowl of the lovely marinade juices from the roasting pan.