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Ribs in a Nero Wolfe-invented sauce July 2, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Pork, Wolfe recipe.
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First of all, a big thankyou for all your kind comments and messages about the Nero Wolfe primer cookies, and welcome to new readers! I have added a link on the sidebar to my previous cookie decorating posts if you are interested in seeing what other silly ideas I get about cookies.

It’s possible to say that I’ve gone to the other extreme today – these ribs don’t look like anything special and certainly aren’t decorated. However, I’d argue they have one distinct advantage over the cookies – they taste great! (This is not to say that the cookies didn’t taste fine, but simple sugar cookies cannot possibly compete with ribs). Before I go on, however, I would give you a word of warning: spilling this sauce on clothing such as ties and then leaving said ties lying around can lead to unintended consequences! (“Eeny Meeny Murder Mo”, in the Homicide Trinity).

To start with, I prepared the sauce. I chopped up onion, garlic and a green capsicum, and cooked them until they started to soften. After a few minutes, I added salt and pepper, basil, rosemary, oregano and parsley (all dried, I’m afraid – I had no fresh herbs on hand), mustard, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, water and honey. As I didn’t have any Tabasco sauce, I de-seeded a habanero chili and chucked it in whole.

(Incidentally, if you’re interested in the history of food-related things, the story of the invention of Worcestershire sauce is well worth a read – it was discovered completely by accident after a mixture of vegetables and fish was left to ferment for a couple of years!)

After the sauce mix had simmered for about 10 minutes, I added some red wine. I simmered this mixture for another 20 minutes, until it was well combined and had thickened. At this point, I removed the habanero chili.

Next, I prepared the ribs. I lined a baking tray with foil and placed the ribs on it, and began the process of basting the ribs. Before I put them under the grill (broiler), I gave each side a coating of the sauce.

At this point, it was just a matter of turning the ribs and basting them with more sauce. After about 30 minutes, the ribs were done. A lot of fat had been drawn out during the cooking process, and they had turned a wonderful colour due to the sauce and the constant basting.

I prepared a simple salad of avocado, spinach and vegetables, and served the ribs with the remainder of the sauce.

I know this shouldn’t be the case, but I am constantly amazed that the recipes in the Nero Wolfe Cookbook come out as good as they do! These ribs were delicious, and the sauce was tart and sticky. There was warmth from the chili but it was not overpowering, and the onions had almost caramelised, contributing to the depth of flavour.

This recipe is among the simplest in Nero Wolfe’s repertoire but cannot be discounted. Just be sure to remove all ties before eating!

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