I think that in addition to having a lot going on this summer, one of my other lame excuses for not blogging much has been writer’s block. Like I said, lame. Every professional writer (of which I am certainly not) seems to give the same advice for curing writer’s block: just sit down and write. So, I shall finally take that long-overdue advice to make this post happen at long last!
The words aren’t coming to me in any entertaining or sophisticated fashion, but you really need these spareribs in your life. They’re so cute and little! Summers are for pool parties, and these would be perfect to set out at an adults-only one, particularly if said shindig involves copious amounts of bourbon and/or a quasi-legal inhalable substance. Strong Asian flavors and a touch of heat, and it’s really tough to stop eating them. Tender with just the right amount of chew. Utterly delicious. I’ll let the recipe speak for itself. Enjoy!
Source: ever so slightly adapted from Pure Pork Awesomeness by Kevin Gillespie
3 ½ lbs. Asian-style (flanken) pork spareribs*
2 tsp kosher salt
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
3 Thai bird chiles
¼ red onion, stem and roots trimmed, cut into chunks
2 tbs sugar
2-inch pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and rough-chopped
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs soy sauce
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
*Basically flanken spareribs are cut horizontally into thirds; have your butcher do it
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Place a broiler pan or cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet (it must be rimmed). Grease the cooling rack with cooking spray. Season the ribs with 1 tsp salt and place on the cooling rack. Add a ¼-inch depth of boiling water to the baking pan, then wrap the ribs with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook until the ribs are pull-apart tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Basically, yes, you’re steaming the ribs.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, lemongrass, chiles, onions, and ginger, and process 30 seconds, until well chopped. Add the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and the remaining 1 tsp salt. Continue to process until a coarse paste is formed, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.
Adjust the rack in the oven to the highest setting and preheat the broiler to HIGH.
Remove the ribs temporarily and pour off the water in the baking sheet. If you don’t do this, the ribs won’t crisp up properly. Arrange the ribs, meat side up, on the rack and smear with some of the paste. Broil the ribs until nicely caramelized, 5 minutes. Flip them, smear the other side with some paste and broil on the bone side for 3 minutes. Flip them again, smear with the remaining paste, and broil a final time to get them nice and crispy on the meat side, about 2 more minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into single-bone pieces. Squeeze the lime onto the ribs and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.