If you can't pinpoint the secret to Salume Beddu's pork ribs, an occasional special on the lunch menu of south city's acclaimed salumeria, don't fret. The preparation of the ribs begins with a dry rub containing no fewer than twenty ingredients, including nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and rose petals. The rub is a Moroccan blend called ras-el-hanout, and the ribs cure in it for several days before being steamed at a low temperature for three to four hours and then briefly charred to order. The meat is as tender as the finest barbecue, yet the flavor is nothing like smoked pig. The ras-el-hanout imbues the meat with a staggering depth of flavor, warm and savory and a little piquant, a hint of lemon cutting through all that richness. So: nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, rose petals and (maybe) lemon. Only fifteen (at least) ingredients left to identify. Hope you're hungry.
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