It was in a (not so?) rare stroke of luck that we yesterday had the privilege of taking a jag for a spin. Perhaps a purr would be a better description. I’ve never been one to fantasise about big expensive cars – I’d probably rather spend that kind of money on a string of first-class air tickets to cool destinations – but this car provides its own first class travel, and I think I now get why people spend money on this kind of thing. It is a truly sweet ride (and if you enjoy other people on the road coveting your wheels, it’s good for that too).
So that was a good start to a day which ended on an equally sweet note with a killer meal, lovely wine and company, and general good cheer. To recreate:
1. Start three days in advance by making a BBQ sauce and marinating some pork (spare) ribs.
2. On the same day, go through phase one of braising beef ribs (ie. braise them for about two hours in red wine and other goodies). Leave to cool and then chill in the fridge until eating day (this could be done one day ahead rather than two, but I had other things to do on day 2)
3. On day 2, add some beer to the pork ribs, seal with foil and cook slowly for about three hours. Leave to cool and refrigerate until eating day (this can also be done on eating day, which would then lead straight into that sticky, smoky wonderfulness that you get by removing the top foil, slathering with more BBQ sauce and grilling, but I had other places to be, like in a jag).
4. On eating day, wake up early-ish and, after enough coffee, bake the base of your Bounty cake (basically a meringue with coconut). Go drive a jag. When you get home, melt some dark chocolate and spread over the coconutty meringue. Garnish with some caramelised citrus peel and hide it somewhere cool until it’s time for dessert. Then play some Wii, drink some champagne, and when your peeps have arrived, get their appetites going with some nice crunchy tempura (of raw ginger, naturally, and some other token veg, like brinjal). Don’t forget a dipping sauce of soya and wasabi.
Both sets of ribs should be back in the oven now, for their final hour or so of cooking, and beckoning with increasingly urgent aromas. When it’s time, make a salad and polenta, serve it all piping hot (minus the salad of course), sit back and eat and ooh and aah (these sounds should be coming from all around the table).
Then while you get someone else to do most of the washing up and make coffee, pull out the Bounty cake and whatever other after dinner treats are on hand (for example, honey grappa, pink port, homemade Limoncello and anise biscotti).
Just a suggestion.