Pork Ribs Vinha d’Alhos/Costelas em Vinha d’Alhos
Vinha d’Alhos is an ancient Portuguese meat marinade based on wine (vinho) and garlic (alho) with aromatics such as bay leaves, thyme, cloves and dried chillies (piri-piri). The magic combination of red wine and garlic makes up for a truly Portuguese flavour which has travelled the word during the 15th and 16th Century “descobrimentos” and made it to India where it became the basis of the Vindaloo.
This recipe takes the traditional marinade to cook falling off the bone pork ribs and create a deep and flavourful sauce. The ribs are served with halved boiled potatoes with skin (batatas à racha) and sautéed kale.
We use kuzu, a Japanese flavourless gluten-free starch thickener which gives the sauce a rich velvety texture.
2 stacks of ribs (cut in half horizontally and with each rib split independently)
3 small dried chillies (piri-piri or malagueta)
3 glasses of rich red wine
8 cloves of garlic (peeled and sliced)
4 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
4 large potatoes (washed and cut in half lengthwise)
1 tbsp kuzu (or cornflour)
1. Marinade the ribs in wine, 6 cloves of sliced garlic, sea salt and bay leaves in a large casserole for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days!
2. Cook the ribs in the casserole (covered) in a slow oven (160-180 ºC) for 2.5 hours with the mariande. Make sure to turn the meat in the sauce half way and check that meat soft and falling off the bone before removing from oven.
3. 30 minutes before serving boil the potatoes in salted water, check for doneness with a knife and set aside.
4. While the potatoes are cooking, sauté the kale for 8-10 minutes in a tablespoon of olive oil, then add 2 cloves of garlic (finely sliced), cook for another couple of minutes.
5. Once the ribs are cooked remove to a flat oven tray (keeping the juices) and place on the top of the oven (increase temperature to 190-200ºC). This will give the ribs a nice glazed and crispy look while retaining the tender flaky texture. Leave for 8-10 minutes while you finish the sauce.
6. For the sauce, filter the juices from the meat in a strainer and heat in a saucepan. Mix the kuzu with 2 tbsp of cold water then add to the saucepan. Stir and reduce for a couple of minutes, check seasoning. The sauce should become the consistence of a light gravy.