Smoked cheddar cornbread and ribs with dip on a round plate with a red rim on top of a red napkin next to a small round black plate with shredded cheese next to a cast iron pan with cornbread.

Smoked Cheddar and Buttermilk Cornbread with Sticky Maple Chili and Birch Syrup Back Ribs

Author Icon Michael Hunter Aug 12 2021
Inspired
Serving Time Icon 1 hr 15 min
Serves Number Icon Serves 4-6

Chef Michael Hunter is renowned for his food knowledge and ability to let the goodness of local, natural ingredients shine in his recipes. No surprise—this is the best cornbread we’ve ever tasted, and the ribs are divine. Taking our lead from Chef Michael, we encourage more adventurous foodies to substitute regular pork back ribs for Ontario-raised wild boar!

 

“Cornbread is one of my favourite BBQ side dishes and that’s probably because it’s really more like a cake than bread.  It’s sweet from the corn, rich from the butter with a hint of tanginess from the buttermilk.  It’s perfect for any bbq or summer cookout.”- Michael Hunter

Pairing

Pair this dish with a VQA Cabernet Franc!
VQA Ontario wine pairing courtesy of the Ontario Wine Marketing Association

Please Enjoy Responsibly! 

Prep 15 MIN

Cook 45 - 60 Min

Smoked Cheddar & Buttermilk Cornbread Ingredients

Prep 15 MIN

Cook 1.5 - 2 hrs

Marinade 3 - 12 hrs

Sticky Maple Chili & Birch Syrup Back Ribs Ingredients

Method

Smoked Cheddar & Buttermilk Cornbread

Step 1

In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients until evenly combined.


Step 2

Cream soft, room temperature butter and sugar by hand, mashing butter into sugar with a whisk until fully combined and light and fluffy.  Add one egg at a time and whisking each time until combined.


Step 3

Fold or whisk in dry ingredients until combined - don’t over mix.


Step 4

Bake in a cast iron pan or bread pan at 375°F (190°C) until set. You can use a BBQ with a closing lid OR a cast iron pan with a cast iron lid set over a small amount of coals beside your cooking fire, placing extra coals on top of the lid to even out the heat.

Sticky Maple Chili and Birch Syrup Back Ribs

Step 1

Peel the membrane on the back of the ribs off with your hands and discard.


Step 2

Rub the ribs with all of the spices, salt and pepper, brown sugar, brush with the maple and birch syrup. Marinate overnight, (or for at least 3 hours if you are pressed for time) saving any remaining liquid from the marinade in the pan for brush while cooking.


Step 3

Cook by roasting over low heat over coals or in a smoker for 1.5 – 2 hours until the ribs can be pulled apart.  If the ribs are still tough after 2 hours, wrap with tin foil and cook for an additional 30 minutes to gently steam inside the wrap.


Step 4

Brush the ribs hourly with the soft butter and any leftover syrup and liquid from marinating overnight.

Once you try dry roasting ribs over an open fire, slow cooking in a bbq or using a smoker you will never go back to braising ribs ever again. The flavour and texture are far superior and it’s perfect for hot summer days when the last thing you want to do is stay inside and turn on your oven.

Portrait of Chef Michael Hunter
Written By

Michael Hunter

Chef

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