As a radio host in America said; “He’s not as beautiful as Nigela or as naked as Jamie, but he is Albert, the Fat Chef”. Yip, that’s me and I am fat........, but I can cook as well, so here goes:
Cola Ribbs without the F-word
I know I am preaching to the saved and that I have said it before, but you can spread the word from here.
You might have all seen the guy at the “other” table, the one that makes all the people at that table wish they have faked some kind of illness and stayed at home. He’s the one who finds fault with all his food and then explain to all and sundry how the food should have been done to start with. The one who will be the proud recipient of a few prize bumps to the back of his head caused by the light pan said chef used to cook his meal.
Obviously, if there is a problem with your food, you must complain, but be civil about it, mistakes are made even by us chefs.
You will find that I have it against the person that claims the right to complain just because he thinks it is the way it should be done, because it is done that way on the TV Cooking Competitions and that he exhibit his coolness by being rude. News flash mate, you are not cool, neither is that chef. He does it to entertain you and it seems that he have succeeded, you were entertained.
Do you, for one moment, think somebody can taste the slightly burnt hair of a scurfy ridden pirate the soup or did that judge say that to make you go ...... eeeiiwww ...... I don’t even want to taste that, it must be awful. Remember, they only have the sound and picture and to make you “taste and smell” the food, they have to use words and by golly, some of them do it well.
So next time, before you complain about your medium-rare T-bone not being grey, make sure of your facts before you complain. After cooking a few steaks, 99.9% of chefs know how a medium-rare steak should look and feel, and yes, we do touch your food to check for doneness. Further, most chefs also have this nasty habit of having a few cookbooks in their kitchens, the ones with photos in them of food, and as luck would have it, mostly there are vividly clear photos of steaks at all degrees of doneness. Nasty creatures chefs are, he will send his most outspoken waitress to your table, with that cookbook, to show you the photo of a medium-rare steak and somehow you might just feel like the slightly burnt hair of the scurvy ridden pirate and, obviously, also remember the light pan he is weighing in his hand.
But at the odd chance of you being right, things happen, be the bigger person. If that chef comes to your table, as he should, and apologies by saying: “rifgwuf wfn ewrgeri wf”; accept it as an apology and do keep his pan in the back of your mind (no pun intended).
So remember, if you have a complaint, complain, you are paying for a service and that includes the whole package, but if you want to impress everybody in the restaurant, put ice on the back of your head, it usually helps.
And now .... drum-roll .... lets cook!
Cola Ribs – my way
For the Ribs
· 2 kg spare-ribs – make sure you buy the ones with a lot of meat on them.
· 2,5 L Cola (the red- or the blue, red and white bottle)
· 4-8 cloves of garlic - crushed
· 1 large onion, roughly chopped
· 2 Bay leaves
· 20 cloves
· 1 tsp (5 ml) black peppercorns
· 2 tbsp (30 ml) smoked paprika
· 1 tbsp (15 ml) coriander – fine
· 1 ½ tsp (7 ml) salt
· 1 medium onion, finely chopped
· 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
· 1 Cup (250 ml) Ketchup/Tomato Sauce – good quality
· 2 tbsp (30 ml) English- or any mustard of your choice
· ¾ Cup (180 ml) soft brownsugar
· 1 tsp (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
· salt en pepper to taste
This is how you do it:
1 Cut the ribs in strips or single portions (I like it this way) and place in a big pot.
2 Place the rest of the ingredients, for the ribs, in the pot, bring to boil. Turn down to simmer and let it simmer for about 90 minutes. You want the meat tender, but not falling of the bone.
3 Remove the ribs, pour the liquid through a sieve and cook the liquid down to about 500 ml. Keep for your sauce.
1 Place all the ingredients in a pot and cook down to the consistency of Maple syrup.
2 Liquidise to a fine consistency and let it cool a little.
1 Coat the ribs well with the basting sauce (don’t be shy),
2 Cook on your braai, Barbie or BBQ until dark and sticky, but be careful not to burn them
Bake in the oven at 180 °C for 45-60 minutes until they dark and sticky.
Dark and sticky is the secret.
Don’t taste them at the BBQ or the moment they come out of the oven, there won’t be enough left for the rest of the people
Tips and hints
· You can, and I encourage you to, do this with chicken wings as well. Chop the wing in 3 parts, but please throw the pointy bit away. Nothing can save it anyway. Cook the wings for a shorter time than the ribs, about 30 to 45 minutes.
· Instead of using the cooked down liquid, you can use fresh cola.
· This is only the basic recipe, don’t fell you have to stick to it religiously. (I like to make mine with about ½ a cup of hot sauce added to the ribs)
Next time I will share our Head Chef, Allan Truman’s recipe for Pork Belly Wheels, a Cashmere Club favourite and I must confess, one of mine as well.
See you then
The fat Chef
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