BBQ Pork Ribs with Spinach-Bean Salad


Hip Pressure Cooking

Published by St. Martins Griffin

This image courtesy of Laura Pazzaglia

Here two components cook at once: The meat sits in the steamer basket, dribbling its juices into the beans boiling below, which gives them an exquisite flavor! Though the BBQ in the title refers to the flavor and not the cooking method, the results should fool all but your most observant guests. The slide-under-the broiler finish gives this dish a scorch that is both beautiful and delicious-the meat, of course, can also be finished on a real barbecue! Note: This recipe cannot be halved or doubled as it contains precise ingredient and liquid amounts to ensure that the beans are not cooked in too much liquid. To make more, prepare two batches.


Bitter Chocolate Pork Ribs with Black Beans

Here’s a totally different take on barbecued ribs: With a different set of ingredients, classic American barbecue goes South of the Border! Follow the BBQ Pork Ribs with Spinach-Bean Salad recipe, replacing the cannellini beans with black beans and the spinach with 1 each chopped green and red bell peppers. Also replace the barbecue sauce with the following mixture: ¼ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground white pepper, and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika.

Get Hip About the Pressure

Recipes for pressure cooking indicate whether they are to be cooked at high or low pressure. In this book, the pressure cooking step is written like this:

“Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes/stovetop or 8 to 10 minutes/electric (or nonstandard stovetop.)”

Although the way pressure is achieved and maintained differs for stovetop and electric pressure cookers, the meaning is the same for both: Once you lock the cover on the cooker, you select a pressure level, heat the cooker until it signals the selected pressure has been reached, and then you start counting the cooking time; electric cookers do some of this for you. When you come to the pressure cooking step in the recipes, bring the cooker to pressure in the manner appropriate for its type. Here’s the process for each type, in a nutshell.

For Stovetop Pressure Cookers

1. Add ingredients and liquid to the pressure cooker and select high or low pressure. Put the cooker on the stove burner.

2. Turn the burner heat to high and leave it there until the cooker signals pressure is reached.

3. Turn the burner heat down to the minimum required to maintain the pressure and begin counting the cooking time.

4. Release pressure and serve!

For Electric Pressure Cookers

1. Add ingredients and liquid to the pressure cooker and select a cooking program or set the pressure cooking time.

2. Press start and then wait for the beep that signals the end of cooking.

3. Release pressure and serve!

10-Minute Natural Release. There are also instances where Natural Release may take too long but you want the benefit of its continued cooking time. When this is the case, turn off the heat and wait 10 minutes; then, if the cooker hasn’t opened, release any remaining pressure using Normal Release. If the pressure comes down before the 10 minutes are up, which may be the case for a stovetop cooker, wait the full time before opening the cooker. This 10-Minute Natural Release technique is especially useful for rice and other grains, which benefit from the extra 10 minutes in the cooker’s steam. (If the cooking was done at low pressure, the recipe will instruct you to use this procedure but count only 5 minutes.)

Serves4 to 6

Cooking Methodpressure cooking


Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentpressure cooker


Taste and Texturemeaty, savory


  • 1½ pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into large dice
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked, rinsed, and drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces 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 (see Notes) for 20 minutes/stovetop or 23 to 25 minutes/ electric (or nonstandard stovetop), When the time is up, open the pressure cooker with the 10-Minute Natural Release method (see Notes).

  4. Set the upturned lid of the cooker on your countertop. 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. Serve immediately.


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