Dry-Rub Pork Ribs with Corn Muffins and Split Pea–Ginger Purée

There are few things as satisfying as ribs with freshly baked corn muffins and a side dish of split peas with a hint of ginger. Make sure you buy the pork back ribs, which are cut from the loin, rather than the side ribs, which come from the belly and have less meat. The corn muffin recipe makes enough for twenty-four muffins. Leftover muffins will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for two days or frozen for up to one month.

2 cups cornmeal
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
11/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 eggs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups whole milk

CORN MUFFINS: Preheat the oven to 400°f. Butter muffin tins, then lightly dust with flour.

Place cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir well to combine. Add corn kernels and green onions and mix lightly. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with vegetable oil until well combined. Whisk in yogurt, then milk. Pour the egg-milk mixture into the well and stir with a spatula until ingredients are fairly well combined. Do not overmix or your muffins will be tough.

Fill muffin tins two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.

1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 racks pork back ribs
(each 11/2 lbs)

DRY-RUB PORK RIBS: Combine brown sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, fennel seeds, coriander and mustard seeds in a small bowl. Using a mortar and pestle or an electric spice mill, grind this mixture finely. Add garlic and ginger and mix well.

Rub ribs on both sides with the dry rub, place in a shallow pan and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350°f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place ribs on the baking sheet and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until tender when pierced with a fork between the bones. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup dried split green peas, washed thoroughly
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

SPLIT PEA-GINGER PURÉE: Heat butter in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, ginger and garlic and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, thyme and peas and cook until peas are lightly coated with spices, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add vegetable (or chicken) stock and salt to taste. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 1 hour, until peas are tender. Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender or a food processor. Purée until smooth. Strain through a coarse sieve. Discard solids.

To Serve 
Cut the ribs into individual servings and arrange them on a large platter. Serve split pea–ginger purée in a bowl on the side along with a basket of corn muffins.