My children have some eating preferences that drive me insane. While I am trying to push their little palates towards the gastronomic light and make them try everything, sometimes it’s too painful to spend hours in the kitchen making something I love that someone is going to complain about. To be fair, they are pretty adventurous eaters but they are still kids and somethings just don’t sit right with them. There’s plenty of stuff I would never have eaten as a kid that I love now. Nonetheless, when they reject something I live for, I become determined to wear them down. Take braised meats for example. If I was facing the gallows, my last meal would be braised short ribs so when my son declared that he doesn’t like “soft meat” the gauntlet was thrown down. I’ll admit he had me beat for awhile. Short ribs, rejected. Pulled pork sandwiches, rejected. Slow cooked chicken tacos, rejected! And then came baby back ribs. I made these braised asian style ribs for Easter and something about eating from the bone made all the difference. They were a hit.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
- 1/2 c hoisin sauce
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 1/4 c dry sherry or sake
- 1/4 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated, stems chopped coarse, leaves minced
- 4 scallions, whites and greens separated and chopped
- 1 1/2 T grated ginger (I use a microplane)
- 3 minced garlic cloves ( I also use a microplane)
- 2 3-inch long orange zest strips
- 1 t cayenne
- 3 lbs pork baby back ribs
- 1/4 c cherry or apple jelly
- 2 T cider vinegar
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Step 2 Combine hoisin, sugar, soy sauce, sherry or sake, cilantro stems, scallion whites, ginger, garlic, orange zest and 1/2 t cayenne.
- Step 3 Season ribs with salt and pepper and place meaty side against the sides of a large dutch oven. If the ribs are too tall, you can cut them in 2 sections and lay the meaty sides down on the bottom of the dutch oven. Pour the sauce over the ribs making sure to coat all sides. Cover the the top of the dutch oven with aluminum foil and place lid on snugly to keep moisture from escaping. Bake for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until fork tender.
- Step 4 Remove ribs and place on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. Strain braising liquid and let settle for 5 minutes. Remove fat from the surface with a spoon.
- Step 5 Whisk jelly, vinegar, cilantro leaves and remaining cayenne into braising liquid and simmer until thick and coats the back of a spoon. About 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add more vinegar if needed.
- Step 6 Brush ribs on both sides with sauce and lay meaty side down on the baking sheet. Set the oven rack 10 inches below broiler and broil for 4 minutes. Turn ribs over and brush with more sauce. Broil 10-12 minutes until glaze becomes nicely browned and sticky. Brush with more sauce halfway through.
- Step 7 Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Serve with scallion greens sprinkled on top.