Home > Categories > Food > Heat and Eat > Beak & Sons Craft Beer BBQ Pork Ribs review
Beak & Sons Craft Beer Pork Ribs are the perfect food for sharing. They consist of a rack of succulent St Louis cut ribs coated in a malty glaze made with full bodied Good George IPA beer. The ribs are slow cooked until they are tender and full of flavour, resulting in melt in the mouth deliciousness. Don't forget the napkins!
This product is fully cooked and ready to reheat in just ten minutes using a BBQ or oven grill. It should be kept chilled until needed.
Even as a kid, I was never a fan of ribs - most of the ribs I ever experienced were short on meat, overcooked, or just tasted really odd. There have been a few exceptions to the rule - as there always is - but for me, it seems finding a tasty, meaty ribs meal is a rare find indeed. Which is why I am so very glad I decided to take the gamble and give these a try myself.
The packaging suggests reheating on a BBQ - unlikely in the current weather (at the time I write this, Cyclone Gabrielle is starting to sweep across the North Island) and also because frankly I don't trust the safety of my BBQ at present. It also suggests using an oven grill, but I wanted to see what the results would be from a basic microwave. After all, that is going to be the most likely reheat option for many a buyer, so why not test it for myself? Not wanting to risk the whole pack on a test-run, I sliced off 4 ribs and popped them into a micro-safe glass casserole dish... all the better to keep the sauce from escaping or exploding and coating the inside of the nuke-box.
With the pack stating 10 minutes for the whole rack, I thought 2 minutes at 70% power should be a good start. As it turned out, that was ample! I had time to pull the ribs out, set them aside while I reheated some kumara/pumpkin mash to serve them on, and then plate up. The ribs were still hot, and surprisingly, the meat was tender and fall-apart tender. Everything was so tender in fact, that when I tried to use a regular serrated dining knife to separate the ribs, I managed to cut halfway through one of the rib bones as well!
The meat was incredible - tender and full of flavour from being slow-cooked in the rich, deep sauce. I enjoyed the sweet notes from the caramelised sugars in the beer and the sticky, smokey sauce was a perfect complement to the earth tones from the hops and ribs. I don't usually like to eat meat with my hands, but I found myself unwilling to risk leaving even a small morsel of meat behind.
Since I didn't have any steamed vegies on hand, I just sliced up a beefsteak tomato to have on the side, and the sauce was a wonderful partner for them as well, adding a smoothness to balance the slight acidity of the tomato.
I think my next experiment with these ribs is going to be warming up a stack of them just enough to release the meat from the bone, chopping the meat into rustic chunks, mixing the sauce with some kumara mash to make a super-thick gravy and making myself some jaffle pies. I might even mix in some finely diced halloumi cheese to give another layer of flavour and texture since halloumi doesn't melt or break down when heated.
Overall, this is a delightful way to enjoy ribs, and it takes all the stress and hassle out of prep-time. Just slice open the bag - being very careful to do it over the dish you plan to reheat them in because the sauce WILL try to make a break for the bench or floor if you aren't careful - and pop it under the grill or in the microwave. If you do plan to use a microwave though, I would strongly suggest that you split the rack into 2 or three portions before you do, so that they get an even heating throughout.
We have tried several of the Beak & Sons range of precooked meats and have found them to be consistently of a high standard, easy to prepare, and with plenty of good quality meat. But I think of all of them this one is our favourite. Unlike many of our friends, we are not wine drinkers by choice but do enjoy a good quality beer - and the Good George brew used in this dish gave it a subtle kick, enhancing the pork flavour but not overwhelming it.
We had intended to invite a nephew to share it, but at the last minute he could not come so we got to eat it all! Not that it was a problem; there was absolutely none left. Even the bones got licked clean, so much so that the cats (who normally like to check in case there is something left) were not remotely interested. The pack could stretch to four people - in fact, the packet says it is meant to serve four - but two of us had no problem eating the lot! Possibly that was greedy, but we enjoyed it so much we just kept eating until it was all gone.
Because the glaze was so rich, we opted for simple accompaniments - asparagus, cauliflower, and plain scones. The meat was so tender it could have come straight from a hangi pit; the glaze coated the vegetables so no other condiments were needed, not even salt; and the flavour was out of this world. It was a sticky job to attack the ribs and we ended up eating half from the bone and the other half from our fingers, but because it was so tasty that did not really matter. I am not sure I would be brave enough to eat them in company if I did not know my fellow diners very well, but when you are among family and friends a little mess does not matter. That is what wet wipes were invented for!
We would certainly choose this meal again as a treat - it is expensive, but wonderfully festive and would be nice with a coleslaw and very fresh sliced bread as a change from the hot vegetables. The sauce is so rich that you would not need any butter on the bread, and the coleslaw would counter that same richness. A bonus is the quick preparation time; the package stated 10 minutes to grill or BBQ, and that was about right. We sliced it into individual ribs for grilling as per the instructions, turning it a couple of times, and the glaze would have reduced had we heated it for longer.
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