Saturday, 9 March 2013

sticky pork ribs

Ribs are a meal that defiantly bear a cross to the face of etiquette and utensils; like a sanguivoriphobe (Google it, it's an actual thing) to a blood sucker - they are not welcome here. There's something liberating about pulling meat off bone with your teeth - throw into the scene a spread-eagled woolly mammoth rug and a couple of tusks as leaning posts and I could well be making dinner for a pair of grunting Neanderthals. You'll find rib sauce systematically migrate across your face, further reaching with every bone you gnaw and suck dry as you throw back to the ways of our ancestral cavemen and get your muzzle in amongst all that juicy meat - embrace it.

Sticky, chewy, sweet and sour, these ribs are impossible to resist and tick all the boxes for any animalistic tendencies you fancy exercising, with a little bit of added finesse when it comes to flavour. The glaze is packed full of vibrant citrusy notes and the sweetness from the honey counteracts the spices very well. The secret is to get the ribs really well caramelised before adding any of the other ingredients. As they braise in the oven, all that colour turns into the most amazing flavour with a hint of the Orient. This recipe is one from Gordon Ramsay's book Ultimate Cookery Course.

Sticky Pork Ribs

Serves 3-4

1 kg pork ribs, separated
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
3-4 fat garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes (to taste)
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 whole star anise
4 tbsp runny honey
150ml soy sauce
2-3 tbsp rice vinegar
300ml Shaoxing rice wine or medium dry sherry
5 spring onions, sliced
400ml chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Season the ribs with salt and pepper, pushing the seasoning into the meat. Heat a roasting tray on the hob with a little olive oil and brown the ribs for 5-10 minutes until  they are coloured on all sides.

Tip If you don't have a roasting tray that can be used on a hob, you can colour the ribs in a large frying pan instead.

Add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise and honey and continue to cook over the heat for 2 minutes until the honey begins to caramelise. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar and Shaoxing wine and bring to the boil, simmering for 1 minute. Taste and adjust the flavours, adding more vinegar if necessary. Add the spring onions and stock and bring to the boil. 

Tip If the above was done in a frying pan, now transfer all of the contents into a roasting dish that's been heated up in the oven.

Place the roasting dish back in the hot oven and cook for 1 hour until tender, turning the ribs halfway through the cooking time.

Remove the pan from the oven and place back on the hob (or tip the contents back into the large frying pan). Heat the marinade and reduce for 8-10 minutes until the sauce is thick and syrupy. Turn the ribs in the sauce to ensure they're fully coated. Serve - with napkins.

If you can't quite manage that amount of protein in one hit, leave any remaining ribs sitting in their sticky marinade for a day or two which will help develop their flavour. When you come to finish them off, give them about 20 minutes in a hot oven to ensure they're well heated through.

These rich ribs work very well with some fresh spring rolls; how we ate them and the next post to be added - watch this space.

Alfiyet olsun.

31 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Love this recipe. Great boys night food and simple simple simple.

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    1. Boy's night - a great occasion for it!

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    2. Can i use a Japanese sake (rice wine)? It's all i could find where i live. That and a Spanish med dry sherry.

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  3. Good recipe, BUT how do you get the sauce to turn "sticky"? After reducing (which I presume is simply keeping over a high heat?), for 8-10 mins, the liquid is still thin. It took more like 25 mins to reduce to a sticky consistency, which added a "bunt" note to the sauce. Any ideas?

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    1. Hello. When reducing you want to keep it over a high heat so it is rapidly boiling. If it took you 25 minutes to reduce the liquid then I suspect you didn't have the hob hot enough. Even so, timings may vary - you really want to stop boiling it once you've received the desired consistency. It's worth noting that this recipe is Gordon Ramsay's (as I mention in the post) and the instructions are taken straight from his book. I'm sorry it didn't quite turn out how you hoped!

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    1. Hello. The recipe requires you reduce the marinade. The only way I know to do this is on the hob. You can either tip the sauce into a pan to reduce over the hob, or reduce it directly in the roasting dish (only if it is designed to work on a hob - mine isn't which is why I pour into a saucepan first). The actual cooking of the meat is done in the oven though.

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    3. in what way might this turn out differently if i use a stove and pan instead of a hob and the rectangular pan. Sorry i'm still learning!!!

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    4. A hob and a stove are the same thing. They can either be electric or gas and are usually rings on which you place a saucepan, frying pan etc. to cook something on. A pan is a pan, regardless of what shape it is. I would say don't over think it and just give it ago - these sort of details won't make a difference. Good luck!

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    5. sorry, this is kind of off topic but could i make gordon ramsay's salmon with baked herbs and carmelized lemons with a fish fillet(no skin at all) instead of a normal uncut but gutted salmon?

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    6. I would say that you could. It's still the same fish so you'll get the same flavours.

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  5. Replies
    1. Hello. Pork ribs are pork ribs - I'm not aware of different types. Could you elaborate?

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    2. Hi, this is actually a good question. There are two types of pork ribs: back ribs and breast ribs. Here in Croatia this type of dish is quite uncommon so we had a lot of problems buying the proper type of meat. He decided to buy back ribs as those are ususally used in US when making "pork ribs". See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork_ribs

      Now, getting rice vinegar is also somewhat exotic in this country :D

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  6. Can you tell me the difference between honey, and runny honey? Here in the states, honey is honey...

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  7. You can get set honey which is quite hard and doesn't run. Or you can get runny honey which is - runny. You could use either really as the the heat would make set honey runny anyway.

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  8. Made these tonight and they were ridiculously good! Only thing I would do different is actually keeping them in the oven for a bit more than 1 hour. Maybe 1 hr and 20 mins as the meat was not completely falling off the bone yet. But the flavour is amazing. Recommend!!!

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    1. That's great to hear - glad they went down well! :)

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  9. Hello, thank for the recipe, I'm gonna try and make these tomorrow. Is it possible to cook these in the oven longer for a couple of hours or 3, so the meat really falls of the bone and melts in your mouth? If so do you think it is a good idea to reduce the temperature of the oven to about 150 to let them cook gently and slowly? I use this method to cook beef stews for example, cooking the stew on very low heat for hours, and the result is always fantastic! Can I do the same with this? :) thank you!

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  10. I've made these several times and here're some advise (Besides the excellent advise found here)
    1: If you can't get runny honey... simply heat some ordinary honey in the microwave :) That will make it liquid and easier to apply to the ribs.
    2. Rice wine and ditto vinegar can be substituted with Apple cider and Apple cider vinegar. I actually never tried it with the rice wine, because I can't get hold of it here.
    3. If you can't get the sauce to reduce enough to make it sticky, there's too much liquid in the tray. (Yeah.. ofcause :) ) But that's because heating the tray before setting it into the oven is really important. The liquid actually needs to boil when you place it in the oven, due to the fact that it takes a loooong time for cold liquid to get hot enough to vaporize in the oven. Which reducing is :)
    So heat that tray :)
    4. They are fantastic when served with corn (Maize)

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  11. Yes, the fresh spring rolls would probably taste good with those ribs. However, would there be space left in the bellies of those who partook in the meals, after all the delicious, juicy spareribs had been consumed to the compete satisfaction of those present? Now, that is the question.

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  12. Thanks for the recipe, I'm gonna try this tomorrow. Is it possible to cook these little longer so that the meat easily separates from the bone and melts in your mouth?

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  13. Looks dark and deadly- would like some on my plate

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  14. Mine turned out abit dry on the insides. No idea why

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  15. I will apply this formula to my family.I think people will be excited about this.It is an attractive dish for this winter.

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  16. Have you ever tried it with baby back ribs?

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  17. Have you ever tried it with baby back ribs?

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  19. Have you ever tried it with baby back ribs?

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