To gladden the heart

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To provide sustenance for the hard West Coast life in days gone by, this dish of Lamb Ribs with Porridge and Potatoes was quite the treat. The Bergrivier Vissersvrouevereeniging’s West Coast Cookbook has an excellent recipe.

Ingredients for 6: 750 gm lamb ribs; 4 cups water; 2 tsp salt; 1 Tbsp black pepper, 3 Tbsp butter; 4 cups skimmed milk; half a cup cake flour; 6 potatoes peeled and cubed; salt and pepper to taste.

Method: Boil the ribs, water and salt in a heavy-based saucepan until tender (about 90 minutes). Remove the ribs, reserve the salted water, season with black pepper and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 180oC.

Place the butter and 3 cups milk in a saucepan and heat to just below boiling point. Make a paste of the cake flour and the remaining milk and stir into the hot milk until the porridge thickens. Season. To be modern, replace the flour with 400 ml polenta to make the porridge.

Boil potatoes in the water in which the ribs were cooked for 12 minutes and then roast in oven at 220o C for 45 minutes until crisp. Garnish the ribs with rosemary sprigs, spoon onto the porridge and serve with potatoes and a simple tomato salad.