Bbq Pork Ribs & Spinach-Bean Salad (together!)
This recipe is from my cookbook “Hip Pressure Cooking: Fresh, Fast & Flavorful” published in New York with St. Martin’s Press/Griffin. One of the things that makes the recipes in it “hip” is the prodigious use of tricks that I learned in my years of daily pressure cooking. One of the tricks I use in this recipe is slowing down the cooking time of beans with an acidic ingredient (something you would never do without pressure). This recipe cooks white beans, ordinarily just need 7-9 minutes pressure cooking time, with pork ribs which usually need 20-25 minutes under pressure. The beans boil in the base of the cooker generating steam to cook the ribs in the steamer basket above. The ribs dribble some of their fat and BBQ sauce (which contains tomatoes and vinegar) back down into the beans – adding flavor and slowing down their cooking time enough that they’re still holding together by the time the ribs are cooked. To further gild the lily, I add two more hip tricks to the end of the recipe. First, I toss in some fresh spinach which wilts in the piping hot beans, without any extra heating, and then I slide the ribs under the broiler. There, the BBQ sauce sizzles and bubbles leaving behind a flavorful veil of caramelized crunch onto the ribs. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
4-6servings 20minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4-6servings 20minutes
Cook Time
  • 1 1/2 – 2pounds baby back pork ribsabout a slab of ribs
  • 1cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • 1pinch salt
  • 1pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onioncut into large dice
  • cups Water
  • 1cup dried cannellini beanssoaked, rinsed, and drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clovefinely chopped
  • 6ounces fresh spinach(about 3 cups; baby spinach is nice)
  1. Cut the ribs apart. Coat them on all sides with most of the barbecue sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper: set the remaining sauce aside. Arrange the ribs in a steamer basket; you can stand them somewhat vertically to get them to fit. Set aside.
  2. Heat the pressure cooker base on medium heat, add the oil, and heat briefly. Stir in the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the water, beans, and bay leaf and stir.
  3. Lower the rib-filled steamer basket into the pressure cooker and then close and lock the lid. Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes, When the time is up, open the pressure cooker with the 10-Minute Natural Release method.
  4. Set the upturned lid of the cooker on your counter top. Carefully lift the steamer basket out of the cooker and place it on the lid; cover with aluminum foil. Fish out and discard the bay leaf from the beans, and mix in 1 teaspoon salt, the garlic, and spinach. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the bean mixture into a large casserole (big enough to hold the ribs in one layer) with low sides. Using tongs, arrange the ribs on top of the beans and brush with the remaining barbecue sauce.
  5. Turn on the broiler. Broil the casserole until the sauce on the ribs is lightly caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes