“Ribs are the ultimate in indulgent weekend grub. Cooked low and slow, they’re a bit of a time investment, but trust me, they’re worth every second – if you want out-of-this-world flavour, you can’t rush these things! My secret weapon in this recipe is to smoke the ribs for the last 30 minutes. This sounds like something you need a barbecue for, but you can easily do this yourself in a conventional oven. Wood chips for smoking come in lots of different varieties, and I’ve gone for whisky barrel chips here, to tie in beautifully with the sauce – it will kiss the ribs with the most incredible smoke. ”
Place the sea salt, white peppercorns and bay leaves into a pestle and mortar and bash until fine (or whiz in a blender), then decant into a jar.
Rub 2 tablespoons of flavoured salt over the racks of ribs (save the remaining salt for another day), then transfer to two baking trays and cover with tin foil. In a 25cm x 30cm high-sided tray, mix the barbecue sauce ingredients together.
Transfer all the trays to the oven for 3 hours, placing the sauce tray at the very bottom uncovered, adding a splash of water to loosen, if needed.
When the time’s up, remove the trays from the oven, adding a splash of water to each of the rib trays to deglaze.
Divide a quarter of the sauce (roughly 300g) between the rib trays (freeze the rest for another day), turning the ribs with tongs to coat, then place the ribs directly onto the bars of the oven, with the empty sauce tray directly below.
Place a small handful of whisky wood chips into a metal sieve and set them alight. Once smoking, put the sieve into a metal bowl, place at the very bottom of the oven and smoke the ribs for 30 minutes, or until sticky and caramelised.
Meanwhile, make your potato salad. Scrub the potatoes, then cook in a pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until tender, then drain and leave to cool slightly.
Pick the dill, then finely chop with the chives, and place in a large bowl. Slice the pickled onions, then core and finely matchstick the apple and pear, and place in the bowl.
Add the yoghurt, mustard and warm potatoes, then toss together to coat. Taste and season to perfection.
Transfer the racks to a board and slice into individual ribs, drizzling any juices from the tray over the top. Finely slice the radishes and sprinkle over the top, then serve with the potato salad.