December 12, 2012 by caitlinvaclark
Last night I made a recipe from my favorite British food magazine, delicious., which highlights classic English cooking and has loads of international flare. Exploring these magazines gives me a glimpse into the British home cook’s kitchen. With no access to Bon Appetit or Real Simple, the food magazines over here have been filling the void, but also adding another element of excitement, as they reference ingredients and food styles that I’m far less familiar with. Plus they generally have great gift guides and note upcoming foodie activities: festivals, classes, new restaurants to try, and the like.
I love curling up in my favorite reading nook to peruse the pages and menu plan. A subscription to delicious. is absolutely on my Christmas list this year (hint, hint, wink, wink) so hopefully I will have more adaptations for you all in the new year.
The Asian-style Braised Pork Ribs turned out very rich and succulent.
For this dish, I started by browning 2 pounds of pork ribs. I strayed from the recipe and played with the seasonings a bit. Rather than use whole star anise, I opted for Chinese Five Spice, to lessen the focus on the licorice flavor. I also added ground ginger, because I love it and cayenne because I thought the dish needed a kick.
I deglazed with sherry, which is a common substitute for the Chinese cooking wine, Shaoxing, and then make a thick and luxurious braising base for the ribs.
The flavor was great, rich and spicy, salty and sweet. The sauce just wasn’t quite what I expected. It was a bit greasy from the cooked down pork ribs. It also was missing the glossy coating I was hoping for. When I make this again, I think I will try removing the pork ribs after braising and then pouring the sauce through a gravy strainer. I will put the separated juices (leaving the fat behind) back into the pot, stir in a slurry of cornstarch and simmer until it thickens slightly. Then I’ll add back the carrots, onions, and meat. I can’t promise this will work, but I’ll be trying it!
I’ve included my suggested changes into the recipe below.
Yes, the meat is so tender and juicy and fall-off-the-bone that you can indeed use chopsticks to eat this dish. But I dare you to not end up using your good old hands!
Asian-style Braised Pork Ribs
*adapted from delicious. magazine
2 Tbs sunflower oil
2 lbs pork ribs
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
½ tsp Chinese Five Spice
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbs. dry sherry
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup dark rice wine vinegar (or substitute regular rice vinegar if you can’t find dark)
2 ½ cups beef stock
2 tsp sesame oil
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 spring onions, sliced
2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
Steamed rice and Chinese long-stemmed broccoli, to serve
Preheat oven to 325˚F.
Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, brown the pork ribs on all sides, 3-4 minutes each. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions, carrots, Chinese five spice, ginger, and cayenne to the pot. Cook for 8 minutes, until the vegetable is softened. Deglaze pot with sherry.
Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, beef stock and sesame oil to the pot. Bring to a simmer, dissolving the sugar.
Place the pork ribs and smashed garlic in the pot, cover, and place in the oven. Cook for 1 ½ hours, then remove the lid and continue to cook for 1 hour until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
*Remove the pork, covering with aluminum foil to keep warm. Strain the sauce into a gravy separate. Reserve the carrots and onions and ¼ cup of the sauce (separated from the fat). Pour the sauce without the fat back into the pot and bring to a simmer. Whisk the ¼ cup of remaining sauce with 1 Tbs. of cornstarch, creating a slurry. Pour into the simmering sauce. Cook for 5 minutes until thickened slightly. Add back the reserved meat and vegetables.
Serve with steamed rice and Chinese broccoli. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.