Erik's Summer BBQ Pork Ribs
"I pasture-raise pigs, and Pinot Noir and pork are a natural fit. A wine like the 2014 La Rinconada Pinot, with all of its richness and red/black fruit characters, goes exceptionally well with pork ribs that have been lightly marinated in homemade barbecue sauce. Most BBQ sauces available at the store are way too sweet and saucy, completely overwhelming good meat and good wine. Better to make your own, and apply it in a way so as to complement the ribs. I never really follow recipes but I would do something like this..." - Erik Mallea, Vineyard Manager
We would make a barbecue sauce utilizing whatever happens to be fresh and available in the garden.
5-6 tomatoes, fresh or stewed
2-3 fat cloves of fresh garlic
¼ of an onion
1 or 2 Serrano chiles (depending on your heat tolerance)
Salt to taste
Honey or maple syrup, to taste
A little black pepper
Touch of cumin
Touch of pimenton ahumado or smoked paprika
A little of whatever fresh herbs that you have: thyme, sage, basil, all in very small amounts
A few squirts of fish sauce
A little red wine or vinegar
Place tomatoes, garlic, onion and Serrano chiles into a food processor. Process this as fine and homogenous as you can, then transfer to a sauce pan and place on low heat. Here's where we generally just start adding stuff and tasting our creation.
Add salt (will become saltier as the moisture from the tomatoes evaporates) and honey or maple syrup, to taste. A touch of black pepper, cumin, and pimenton ahumad/smoked paprika. Add a little of whatever fresh herbs that you have: thyme, sage, basil, all in very small amounts. A few squirts of fish sauce and a little red wine or vinegar (small amounts).
Once it has been reduced to less than half of the original volume (hopefully you have a quart of sauce), then you can use it to marinate your ribs. If you have the time heat up the grill and throw the ribs on raw and at high temperature lightly braise both sides. Then in a mixing bowl or baking pan throw the ribs in and toss them with the barbecue sauce, so that they are covered. They can now marinate for as long or as little time as you have.
As meal time nears, turn the grill back on and over low heat begin to barbecue the ribs. There should still be a fair bit of sauce in your mixing bowl; as the ribs cook and begin to get a bit of char on the edges, take them off and throw them back in the mixing bowl for a quick reapplication of sauce and spices. You can repeat this a couple of times; with a total cooking time of ~20 minutes your ribs should be nicely cooked with a nice glaze of sauce and a bit of grill char for flavor. Garnish with lots of fresh cilantro and enjoy!