Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Welcoming the Year of the Ox with some awesome baby back ribs!

I'd like to think I have a pretty well rounded cooking repertoire. I've tried a ton of different things. Most successfully (the ones listed in the recipe column at left). Some, um, not so (the kitchen disasters you'll never read about, like the whole pan of lasagna I dumped into the garbage while dinner guests were at the table waiting to eat). One thing I have shockingly never made, and I'm not sure why, is baby back pork ribs. Last night though, we were invited over to our friends Monique and The Handsome One's house to celebrate Chinese New Year. It was a pot luck kind of affair, and I knew our hosts would throw down some incredible food. And they did...it just coming and coming, course after course. I was reeling from the abundance, actually in pain...and stupidly satisfied! Our contribution was w's famous New Year's cake and some baby bok choy I whipped up with garlic oil. I decided this was also the perfect time to break my pork rib virginity. It feeds a lot of people, it's easy, it transports well. Everything was in place. And I thought I had the perfect recipe in the archives, one I've had on my list for about 18 months but hadn't gotten to, not traditionally Chinese, but Asian-esque, Jaden's Baby Back Ribs with Orange-Ginger Glaze from her Steamy Kitchen blog. Jaden has a great food blog filled with, as she calls it, "modern Asian...fast, fresh, and easy". I've made a couple of her things, especially memorable was this awesome Crab and Fuji Apple Salad. Her rib recipe was everything I'd hoped for. The meat was meltingly, fall-off-the-bone tender and her glaze was maybe the best 'que sauce I've ever had, and super easy to make. This was pretty crazy porky goodness, and with your Super Bowl parties this weekend, or any other gathering where you want your guests to heap much love upon you, bring a steaming platter of these out of the kitchen!

Thanks to Jaden, too, for letting me steal the picture from her blog post since I was camera-less!
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Baby Back Ribs with Orange-Ginger Glaze
from Steamy Kitchen

garlic salt & pepper
Asian Orange-Ginger Glaze
1 tsp grated ginger (use a microplane rasp grater)
1 tblsp minced garlic
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 orange, peel zested with rasp grater & juiced (you should have 1/4 c of juice and about 2 T zest)
1 tblsp mirin
1 tblsp sambal (asian hot chili/garlic paste)
1 tblsp yuzu sauce (you can substitute with lemon juice)

1. Preheat oven to 250. Pat the ribs dry and season both sides liberally with garlic salt and pepper. Place the ribs in a large roasting pan, overlapping is ok. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven. Roast 4-6 hours (I did 3 racks for a little over four hours and they were perfect!-bb). If you are feeding less than 4 people, then check the ribs after 4 hours, they should be done.

2. To make the glaze: Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 T canola oil, and when hot, add the red onion. Cook until the onion is soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and the ginger. Cook another minute. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the yuzu sauce. Lower the heat to low and cook down the sauce until it thickens and reduces about 6-8 minutes. The sauce should be sticky and thick. Remove from heat and add the yuzu sauce (or lemon juice). You can also add more freshly grated ginger if you like for the extra kick.

3. The ribs are done when they fall off the bone. Trust me, you’ll know. Try picking up a rib and see how the meat just falls off. Place the ribs in a single layer - you may have to use a baking sheet. Brush the Asian Orange-Ginger Glaze on the tops of the ribs. Broil on high until the sauce bubbles and carmelizes, about 3-5 minutes. Keep a watch on the ribs - don’t burn them!

cook's note: I figured six ribs per person with these. Adjust accordingly to your guest's appetites!


Nate @ House of Annie said...

I like to have a little more chew on the meat, so that they don't fall off the bone. How long would you cook the ribs then?

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bb said...

I'd just cut back about 45 minutes or so on the time in the oven. A lot depends on the size/thickness of your rack. You can always reach in the pan and give the ribs a little wiggle to see how tender they're getting.
Thanks for your comment!