I’m baaaack! I know I know, I’ve been (very) lax and neglected posting any recipes for months now – sorry!! Got a bit caught up with launching Cham Cham Hot Pepper Sauce, having stalls at Africa at Spitalfields and Well Street Market Christmas Festival, whilst still hosting a few supper clubs at mine and at Hatch and working full time…..before I knew it the year was over and we’re now in 2016!!!! But I’m back now and off on holiday to Liberia next week – yipppppeeee – to get some sun and inspiration for the forthcoming year!!!
Sadly it’s getting colder here in the UK, so I’m kicking off with a real solid and comforting meal that will get you all warmed up.
Marinade marinade marinade – it’s all about marinating your meat if you want it to be licking your lips, fingers and then your plates! It doesn’t have to be marinated for hours but always better if you can be prepared and patient to do so. And accompanied with a side of binch to go with the ribs, it really shows that you don’t have to use loads of ingredients to create a flavoursome dish.
If you haven’t guessed from the picture binch simply means beans in Krio. Requiring only 4 simple ingredients to make binch, you are hit with a massive punch of flavour that will have you craving more after the first mouthful. It really doesn’t look like much of an appetising dish when you’re cooking it out to let the water reduce, though once you add the palm oil, you begin to see the wonderful colour it brings, incredibly lifting it and creating the baddest smoky bean dish ever!
For a Sierra Leonean and Liberian it is the one dish that must be served at a funeral and is put on a tray as offering to the deceased, though not exclusive to this occasion. I am not sure of the reasoning behind this – maybe it is believed that it will be a fulfilling and filling final meal.
I like to say it is West Africa’s equivalent (with many countries and towns having its own take on it) to baked beans but closer in texture and consistency to refried beans. In Sierra Leone and Liberia it is eaten for breakfast with some sweet bread to mop up the sauce, setting you up nicely for a long day. Or at lunch or dinner it is served with sweet fried plantains – HEAVEN!
Many people remove some of the beans, when it is just about ready, mash them up a little and stir them back in to thicken the sauce. I prefer not to do this and cook the beans so that they are still a little firm. I’ve taken to eating it for breakfast with a poached egg which is incredible with the soft runny yolk running through it.
It is a winning dish when served at the supper club with plantains. Here I serve it with some banging ribs to go with these badass beans.
The prep. part
RIbs – serves 2 -3
- 6 pork spare ribs
- 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsps dark soy sauce
- 1 cm ginger, no need to peel, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsps of honey
- Juice of 1 lime, and keep lime once juiced
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- A little salt and plenty of pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, skin left on
Binch – serves 6
- 125g raw black eyed peas, soaked in water overnight
- 40ml sustainable palm oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ½ tbsps/1 small blitzed, finely chopped white onion
- Optional ½ tsp of ground/blitzed scotch bonnet pepper
The cooking/assembling part
- Put the ribs and all the ingredients listed for it in a zip lock bag and marinate overnight, or at 2 hours prior to cooking.
- Pre-heat the oven at 160⁰C and turn all ingredients from the bag into a baking dish.
- Bake for 90 minutes, turning halfway through
- Soak for 12 hours or at least overnight.
- Rinse and cover with fresh water, 1cm above the beans.
- Put on a medium heat and bring to the boil.
- After 15 minutes turn the heat down and simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the beans are firm and there is 1cm of water left in the pan.
- Turn the heat back up and add the palm oil, onions, salt and scotch bonnet pepper, if being used.
- After 20 minutes it is ready to serve.
Garnish dish with some extra lime to squeeze over the ribs.