This week I’m finally getting to write about when I met chef Ben O’Donoghue a few months back. It was actually a PR event and the first I’d done in more than a year. Technically we were there to talk about how effective Fairy dishwashing liquid and dishwasher tablets but it provided the perfect opportunity to eat sweet, spicy, sticky pork for breakfast.
I’ve loved Ben’s cooking from a lifetime ago when he did a series in the UK called The Best. He, along with Paul Merrett and Silvana Franco, would each cook to a certain theme – the best sandwich, tasty fish suppers, cool salads – then their dishes would be presented to a group of punters who’d choose their favourite dish. They did an Australian version, which Ben was also in, but it didn’t have the same vibe as the UK one.
Anyway, I love his style of cooking and he’s about to open new digs in BrisVegas so if you’re up that way you’ll need to go and check it out.
Things I did differently:
- Ben uses 100gm of horseradish in the sauce – I felt it was way too much so just used a heaped tablespoon
- I have made the sauce and left out the horseradish and rum and it is still a very tasty sauce
- Play with the amount of chilli flakes but it does mellow. My non-spicy eating children love it. I’ve settled on using 2 teaspoons.
Twice cooked pork with bbq sauce
Adapted from Ben O’Dohoghue
- 1.2kg pork belly spare ribs (also called rashers)
- enough coca cola to cover
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ bunch coriander
- 1 long green chilli
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup malt vinegar
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes (or to taste)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 50g creamed horseradish
- 100ml rum
- Put the pork into a baking dish and pour enough coke over it to cover it
- Add the star anise and cinnamon stick and bake at 180C for about 1½ hours, turn it half way through
- Once it’s cooked pull it out of the oven and leave it to cool slightly. You can leave it in the cooking liquid but then discard it once you move onto the next step.
- Combine the sugar, vinegar, saucem cinnamon stick and chilli flakes in a saucepan
- Bring it to the boil and simmer into really quite thick
- Add the horseradish and rum and cook for another five minutes or so
- Liberally smear the bbq sauce all over the pork
- Heat a chargrill pan or you can grill them in the oven
- Cook them long enough that the marinade is caramelised – some burnt pits are fine! – then turn them over and do the same.
- Serve with rice or even an Asian-style coleslaw
- You should have a bit of the bbq sauce left for next time or to smear on sandwiches