26 September 2023

Ribs and Sides

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By Christine Salins.


Man has been cooking over fire forever and a day, and it’s still one of the most exciting ways to cook. These days, there’s a seemingly endless array of grills, barbecues, smokers and ovens designed to cook over wood and charcoal.

Adam Roberts has made a career out of perfecting the art of the barbecue. He’s trained thousands of barbecue judges, won many major trophies in barbecue contests around the world, co-produced an international documentary series called Beyond The Flame, and explored the art of barbecuing in numerous countries.

All of that experience comes to the fore in Ribs and Sides (New Holland, $32.99), a collection of his best recipes, tips and techniques. He provides a run-down on the various types of barbecues and cookers available, the types of fuel and wood to use, how to check if your meat is cooked, and how important rubs are for enhancing taste.

“Rubs are a common element in adding incredible taste to meats before, during and after cooking, particularly on the barbecue, grill or smoker,” says Roberts.

Each recipe in Ribs and Sides has a list of rub ingredients to get you started but Roberts suggests that once you’re comfortable with the concept, you should experiment with your own taste profiles to make each recipe your own.

Roberts walks the reader through everything they need to know about different rib types, marinades, rubs and cooking methods for both indoor and outdoor kitchens.

There are so many delicious recipes in this book, from Spicy Apple & Salted Caramel Pork Ribs, to Crumbed Rosemary and Mint Lamb Ribs, Massaman Beef Ribs, and wonderful sides such as the Creamy Bacon & Egg Sweet Potato Salad featured here.

If you love barbecuing, and if you especially love slow-cooked ribs, Ribs and Sides will be your new best friend.

Creamy Bacon & Egg Sweet Potato Salad


2 large or 700g sweet potatoes

6 large eggs

6 rashers streaky bacon

1 bunch coriander

60mL whole egg mayonnaise

20mL sriracha hot sauce

1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

20mL canola oil


  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and hard boil the eggs. Allow the eggs to cool in a bowl of cold water in the fridge for 30-minutes. Once eggs are chilled, peel and cut into quarters then set aside.
  2. Dice the streaky bacon into small strips and fry until dark and crispy, set aside.
  3. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes and dice into 2.5cm squared pieces. Add diced potatoes to a large saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and par-boil until potato is just softened on the outside but still slightly firm in the middle.
  4. Once the sweet potato is softened, remove from the boiling water and chill the potato in the fridge until cold.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked sweet potato, bacon, whole egg mayonnaise, sriracha hot sauce, salt and pepper and mix gently until all combined.
  6. Add roughly chopped coriander to taste and eggs and fold into mix, turning the eggs in gently at the end of the process.

Recipe and images from Ribs and Sides, by Adam Roberts, published by New Holland.

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