I ate this one night in Ponte Delgada on the island of San Miguel. I asked the chef and this is more or less the recipe he gave me. I was very happy to come home and make it. This makes a big dish of ribs but you just bang it in the oven and it’s a lovely, easy way to feed a crowd. If you want to make less, just reduce the amount of ribs, or you could make them all anyway and have leftovers for the next day.
- 1kg short pork ribs
- 125ml olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 125ml white wine
- juice of 1 orange, plus 2 oranges, quartered
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 tablespoons tinned crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons massa de pimentos (see Cook’s Tip)
- a pinch of ground piri piri, if you like
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Cut the pork ribs into single ribs and trim off excess fat (you should get about 16 ribs). Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the ribs until well browned on the undersides. Turn and cook until deep golden all over (do this in batches if necessary). Add the bay leaves at the end, season and add the wine and orange juice. Let it bubble away for a few minutes, then turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan and sauté the onion until beautifully golden. Add the garlic and, when you start to smell it, add the tomato. Bubble up for a moment, stir in the massa de pimentos and piri piri and turn off the heat. Find a roasting tin that will fit everything snugly in one layer. Put an orange quarter in each corner and dot the rest here and there. Arrange the ribs in one layer and scrape the tomato mixture over them, turning through the ribs and even over the orange quarters. Roast for about 30 minutes until tender and golden and dotted with bits of sauce. Serve hot.
Massa de pimentos is a red pepper paste, made with chargrilled red peppers, olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar. Purée some pimento peppers, add 15ml olive oil, 5ml lemon juice and a few drops of vinegar for every 125ml purée.