Barbecued pork ‘ribs’ worthy of a blue ribbon, but with only one-quarter the fat of regular ribs. How? Make them from lean pork tenderloin instead of fat-laden baby back or spare ribs. The tenderloin ‘ribs’ taste just as delicious as the real thing and are healthier, too.
2 pork tenderloins (about 350g each), trimmed
1 red onion, chopped
1 red capsicum, deseeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (250ml) no-salt-added tomato sauce
½ cup (125ml) chilli sauce
¼ cup (60ml) treacle
¼ cup (60ml) Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp mustard powder
Tabasco to taste
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Soak four 30cm wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. Butterfly the pork tenderloins, then cut into strips to resemble ribs and thread on the skewers. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 230°C. Lightly coat a roasting tin with cooking spray. Spread the onion, capsicum and garlic in the tin and lightly coat with cooking spray. Roast the vegetables, tossing frequently, for about 15 minutes or until browned and tender.
Transfer the vegetables to a food processor. Add the tomato sauce, chilli sauce, treacle, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chilli powder, mustard powder and Tabasco. Purée, then pour into a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over a medium–low heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly and richly flavoured, about 15 minutes. Remove 1 cup (250ml) of the sauce for basting and keep the remaining sauce hot.
Coat a barbecue grill rack or a grill tray generously with cooking spray and preheat the barbecue or grill. Baste both sides of the ‘ribs’ generously with the reserved sauce. Cook for about 15 minutes or until cooked through, turning and basting every 4 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Some more ideas…
Serve these ribs with ‘confetti slaw’ – thinly sliced carrots, cabbage, even red capsicum – made with low-fat mayonnaise. Don't forget to make a jug of fresh lemonade.
For over 20 years, farmers have been breeding leaner pigs, and pork now contains considerably less fat than it did in the past. It also contains higher levels of the ‘good’ polyunsaturated fats. The average fat content of lean pork is just 3.5 per cent, much the same as skinless chicken breast.