Asian Braised Spares
A couple Saturdays back I had planned on smoking up a rack of spare ribs which I had thawed out. Well, plans change and plans were made and then cancelled and I ran out of time to do them on the smoker. Instead I made up a recipe for asian braised spare ribs which I did in the oven, but I think could be easily adapted for the smoker.
Ingredients (All measurements are approx. as I don't ever measure anything)
1 rack pork spare ribs (full or STL trimmed)
1 large onion sliced
8 oz. mushrooms quartered (I used crimini, but I think shiitake would have worked even better)
1" chunk of ginger sliced about 1/4-1/8" thick
4 cloves garlic very rough chop
1 T Chinese 5 spice powder
1 T stir fry oil (combination of canola and toasted sesame, straight canola or veg oil would work fine as well)
2 C chicken stock (I like to use low sodium)
1/4 C soy sauce
3 TBS Hoisin sauce
2-3 T worcestershire
2 tsp garlic chili paste or sambal (add a little more if you like a lot of heat)
2 tsp Red Boat 40 Fish sauce
I started by cutting the rack down into 3 pieces so it would fit easily into my 6.5 qt oval dutch oven. Then peeled the membrane and seasoned both sides with some salt and the 5 spice powder.
While waiting for the ribs to "sweat" I mixed all of the ingredients from the chicken stock down together to create the braising liquid.
I heated the oil in my 6.5 qt oval dutch oven and then seared the ribs on each side for 2-3 minutes to get a nice brown on them. I then removed them and set them aside.
Next in went the onions, I cooked them for 2-3 minutes until they started to soften and then added the mushrooms. After they started to brown, 3-5 minutes, I added the garlic and ginger and let it cook until they got fragrant, another 1-2 minutes.
Turned the heat down and laid the ribs down on top of the mushroom & onion mixture then added enough braising liquid to cover the vegetables but not the meat. Once the liquid came close to a boil I covered with foil and then put the lid on for a nice tight seal and into the oven at 350* for about 2hrs.
I served this with an cold asian glass noodle salad, which is a recipe for another time.
How would I adapt this for the smoker?
Instead of browning the ribs and cooking in a DO, I would season them with the salt and 5 spice then put on the smoker for about 2 hours until they got a nice color on them before transferring to an aluminum pan with the cooked vegetable and the braising liquid.
I love traditional smoked ribs, but this was a really good departure from the norm. The ribs were incredibly tender and moist and the whole dish had a great richness to it along with an incredibly unctuous texture.
I find that adding the extra 'i' prevents this ****ake. Shiitake gets around the censors.
That sounds delicious and I know the kind of texture and unctuous texture braised ribs can give to a dish. I know it has to be good. BTW, the Southern Chinese use a mushroom that is almost exactly like Crimini and they make braised rib dishes that are amazing.
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