We must have a national gene for pork barbecues of all kinds. The combination of fatty pork, salt, sugar and smoke is just so darned appetizing! For these two batches of meaty pork ribs we cooked at the beach, we marinated the meat in the city roughly 40 hours earlier, transported them to the beach in coolers, and grilled them over coals.
Meat that is marinated for too long with certain ingredients can actually result in a weird texture once cooked, and that is not appealing. So we avoided acids such as kalamansi or vinegar in the first marinade to prevent that from happening.
Batch number one of fatty pork ribs were marinated Pinoy style, in a bit of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, salt and pepper. About 30 minutes before cooking this batch, we added some kalamansi juice to the marinade. The second batch of ribs we marinated in a mixture of 1/2 bottle of homemade peach preserves from Sister, some good honey, a bit of soy sauce, minced ginger, salt and pepper. I know, it sounds a bit odd and possibly too sweet, but it worked quite nicely.
I had planned to bake the long-marinated ribs in a really low oven for say 2 hours before finishing them on the grill, but a blackout meant our electronic reliant gas oven was useless… So we fired up the Weber type grill instead, pushed the coals to one side, and baked the ribs away from the coals for roughly 30 minutes with the grill cover closed and air vents opened. I thought the meat would cook too fast and toughen up and dry out, but miraculously they didn’t… Those are the “baked” ribs in the second photo above.
We barbecued a few small meaty pieces straight out of the marinade, or basted with a quick “sauce” and the latter won the taste test, so we made two sauces to brush over the ribs… the first batch of ribs got a sauce of tomato ketchup, soy sauce, a bit of kalamansi and brown sugar. While the peach marinated ribs got a sauce of peach preserves, tomato ketchup a touch of soy and a very small touch of vinegar. The guys cranked up the coals and barbecued some 5-6 kilos of ribs in no time…
We nibbled on bits of meat as the ribs were being grilled and it was clear these were going to be delicious… the long marinating period was GOOD for the ribs, and the shorter baking time didn’t seem to affect the quality of the finished product. That last brush of tomatoey, sticky, sweet and salty sauce gave this a familiar taste but not quite the common barbecue you buy off the street.
The peach preserve marinated ribs had a particularly appetizing color and the sticky sweet glaze on them was finger-licking good.
If you don’t have peach preserves, I suspect this would work with mango jam or other fruit preserves. Once cooked, you didn’t need to dip this in any other sauce or condiment, they were delicious just the way they were.
Served alongside the two types of ribs was a dish of sotanghon with shrimp, leftover ham and veggies. Perfect post-Christmas lunch at the beach!