As lockdown goes on and on and on and the days meld into one long homogenious unit, who knew the routine of work would be so gratefully received, I look to the little treats to break up the week.
Old favourites food and drink wise provide solace and new places (and new offerings from old places) provide the little frissons of excitement of a new experience.
A plus of lock down has been the spawning of new ideas from established indies, many born before lockdown but adapted to cater for its nuances. I wish I had these people’s creativity and tenacity.
As such a new venture from serial innovators (behind jointly or solely Nook, Hoof and Ember to name but a few) John and Ceri Cook – very much the dynamic duo, in the form of Kapow Ribs, more than piqued my interest – seemingly ticking a lot of my boxes.Love BBQ ribs ✔
Love John Cook’s cooking ✔
Love someone else doing the hard work (ribs require low and slow cooking – lots of time and patience – and a dab hand with the spice rub, with 11 herbs and spices in the mix here) ✔
When ordering went live, it seemed the whole of Cardiff got on the blower with hundreds of calls in the first 15 mins. This was repeated on their second week. Have some pulling power the Cooks – when they do something everyone wants a piece of the action.
I got rather lucky (makes a change) and got through on only my third attempt (I saw on twitter someone saying that they had made 102 attempts to get through – admirable staying power that, hope they got through in the end). Seems I have the batphone.
The ribs and wedges are delivered oven ready and for the week I ordered they only had BBQ ribs on offer. Nothing wrong with that as I love a good ole BBQ rib rack.
They do intend to expand out the offering in futureand I must say I love the sound of the Sucker Punch.
Utterly shite movie, epitome of style over substance in my view, but the combination of hot, sweet and sour with peanuts in the mix really appeals.
Our order consisted of a full rack of ribs, wedges x 2 and coleslaw which came in at a seemingly very reasonable £22 (delivery inc. as it is free for orders over £15).
With so many orders to deliver I was told the window for delivery on the Friday was between 18.00 and 21.00.
For an old fogey like me eating past 21.00 is a recipe for reflux, so I checked if it was ok to put the stuff in fridge and eat the next day – absolutely was the answer.
As it happened they arrived at 18.30 on the Friday – they texted to say when they were half an hour away.
We had taken the precaution of eating a hearty lunch, so decided to wait until the next day – despite the huge temptation to immediately whack them in the oven.
Dropped off at the door step, with social distancing protocols all observed, it was nicely packaged up with clear and concise instructions in terms of reheating (the ribs come pre cooked but require reheating).
In terms of the ribs you put these in the oven (pre heated 200°c) in the foil for 15 mins and then open the foil up to give them a liberal coating of the supplied BBQ sauce,
before whacking them back in the oven to cook (uncovered) for another 15 mins. Kapow have done all the hard work by cooking them low and slow for 9 hours before you get your mitts on them.
The smell of cold BBQ sauce hitting hot rack of ribs was intoxicating and induced labrador level of drooling from me.
Once out of the oven these big meaty numbers looked the absolute business.
At the same time as the ribs were cooking our two portions of wedgeswere also on the go in the oven. They recommend drizzling with coconut oil, which I didn’t have, to get them really crisp.
I applied groundnut oil, which work very well in crisping up the wedges (any oil with a high smoking point should do the job, so the more refined the oil the better – avoid extra virgin olive oil).
Lots of lovely crisp gnarly bits to these.
The whole plated ensemble looked rather fine and very substantial, portion wise (with a half rack each and loads of meat on each).
The ribs had a good outer bark and were beautifully tender, with a lovely mix of sweet spice, smokey meatiness – great BBQ sauce ( Kansas City style) and a really nice spice rub on the ribs.
As should be the case with a good rib the meat didn’t fall off the bone, but the bones pulled out with the slightest jenga- esque tease – clean as a whistle. Always wondered about that phrase as suspect not many things are dirtier than a whistle, spittle and all (noise made by a sword as it “whistles down” to cut off you head it seems, which is nice).
Really good flavour to the meat with a good fat to lean ratio and a really punchy spice rub.
Enjoyed these ribs immensely,
as the aftermath shows.
The very chunky wedges came out of the oven with a super crispy exterior and a soft fluffy interior.
Bang on these wedges, with a very pleasing to the palate seasoning.
The final element was a creamy coleslaw. I normally find cream based coleslaw a bit rich with ribs, preferring a more vinegar based number, but this was a top notch slaw with enough acidity in the mix.
On the booze front, a garnacha (like the one below from Curado Bar) would work well, with the ribs and BBQ sauce.
I, however, fancied a beer and this very refreshing number (again from Curado Bar) made for a good pair I thought.
Despite the slightly dank colour (it is unfiltered, unpasteurised, with natural carbonisation and made using sea water), it is a crisp easy drinking lager style beer.
Worked well with the ribs, wedges and coleslaw.
I reckon this sour number (part of a package from the Bottleshop here in Cardiff)
would also have worked quite well.
I think the Cooks have delivered another winner here. Great flavours, jumbo portions and fab value – can’t really ask for more than that can you.
I think BBQ ribs are an inspired choice for home delivery, as everyone loves a good rib, but they are quite the task to do properly at home – as ideally need a home smoker and time to prep and then smoke them (takes 6 plus hours to cook in my smoker and they are not a patch on these if truth be told).
Let the Cook’s take the pain (or should that be Bane – always the Joker me) out of cooking ribs and order these ribs is my advice.
Would I order again? Riddle me this – what entails 100s of rings and tastes as good as original sin? Kapow ribs that’s what. These bad boys are certainly ribbed for your pleasure. So that a big yes, as long as the batphone keeps working.
Orders are made by phone, with the lines opening at 7pm on Mondays. Get in fast as they sell out really quickly.
In terms of payment, it is currently by BACS, with them texting you the details.
Deliveries are on Fridays.