There used to be a restaurant in Saskatoon called Cousin Nik's that specialized in Greek fare. One of our favorites when we visited was their Greek Ribs, so imagine my surprise when I got the owner's cookbook, only to discover that some of the ingredients and methods were far from traditional. What surprised me most was the inclusion of oyster sauce. From an umami point of view, it makes perfect sense, but I'm not sure the ancient Greek table included that ingredient.The recipe in the cookbook doesn't specify quantities, just sprinkle on this and brush on that, so here is my attempt to quantify it.
Cousin Nik's "Classic" Greek-Style Ribs - Serves 4
|3 - 4||lbs||Pork Back Ribs (1 rack)|
|2||tsp||Balsamic Vinegar (optional)|
- Preheat oven to 450°F (232°C).
- Remove the tough membrane from the inside of the ribs (see note)
- Cover a rimmed baking pan with heavy duty foil to make clean up easy. Spray lightly with cooking spray and place the ribs on with the inside facing up.
- Sprinkle with half of the Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt and oregano. Flip the ribs over and repeat on the other side.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- If using balsamic, mix it with the oyster sauce.
- Remove ribs from the oven, turn inside surface up and brush on half of the oyster sauce. Flip ribs over and brush oyster sauce on the other side. Return the ribs to the oven for 2 -3 minutes or until the oyster sauce starts to thicken and glaze the ribs.
- Meanwhile, squeeze the juice from the lemon.
- Remove the pork from the oven and cut into individual ribs, or into 2 or 3 rib pieces. Put into a serving dish and sprinkle liberally with lemon juice, turning the ribs to be sure they are evenly covered.
Note on removing the membrane from inside the ribs
While this step isn't strictly necessary, it does make for an easier-to-eat product. The membrane is part of the abdominal wall and can be quite tough to chew. To remove it, start by getting a couple of pieces of paper towel. Slide a narrow knife just under the membrane on the inside of the ribs as close to the small end as possible. Rotate the knife so that the back edge of the blade turns away from the meat in order to open up a pocket, then turn the blade flat and pull it out. You should now be able to pinch the membrane and lift while holding the rack down with your other hand. As soon as enough membrane is loose to hold it with the paper towel, do so as it makes your grip easier. Lift and pull the membrane back. If it tears, you may need to use your knife to get started again, but with practice you will be able to take it off in one piece.