Asian-style Pineapple Glazed Pork Ribs
June 10, 2009 § 9 Comments
Summer is near, June 21 to be exact. Commercials, printed ads, shows and magazines are all preparing us for it. And no less are the the latest editions of food magazines, plastering pictures of BBQ on the covers. So no doubt I’ve had BBQ on the brain, ribs that is. Pork ribs to be exact. I can thank Bon Appetit’s latest cover page of Ginger and Honey Ribs for my latest craving. So on my way home yesterday, I stopped by Henry’s to pick up 2 racks of pork ribs.
I didn’t have much time since this was one of those “Pa, I don’t feel like pasta tonight. I want some meat!” spur of the moment thing. I had no idea exactly what I was going to do with the ribs except that I knew I wanted some kind of BBQ ribs. But with the overcast of rain clouds, I decided to look for a recipe that cooked the ribs in the oven since I didn’t want to get caught in a possible downpour while grilling. Okay, maybe not a downpour but I didn’t want to get drizzled on.
I scoured through some cookbooks and some online recipe sites. I finally settled on using this Tyler Florence recipe as a guide. OMG, these ribs turned out finger smacking good! The glaze was so addictive that I couldn’t stop dipping the ribs into it. The glaze is fairly simple although uses quite a bit of ingredients. I used what I had and adjusted for taste as I cooked it. Since I really enjoy the combination of sweet and hot, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar and heat to your taste. But you have to make this because it’s soooooo good! I’ll be making these for a BBQ party later this summer.
- 2 racks of baby back pork ribs (~3-4 lbs)
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- Chinese five-spice powder (I used 4 Tbsp)
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 can (6 oz) pineapple juice (I used Dole)
- 1/4 C soy sauce
- 1/4 C oyster sauce
- 1/4 C dark rum (Meyer’s baby!)
- 2 Tbps Asian-style chili paste (I used that brand with the rooster on the bottle)
- 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp ketchup (don’t question it, just add it)
- 1 Tbsp molasses (I used mild since it’s what I had)
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 C dark brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 1-inch pieces of fresh ginger
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Rub the ribs with oil. Season ribs on both sides with five-spice powder, salt and ground pepper, rubbing in well. Just a note here that some people find the taste and smell of five-spice rather strong. If you’ve never used this spice before, start off with a tablespoon per rack but make sure the meat gets even coverage.
Line a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with heavy aluminum foil. This will make clean-up easier since we’re baking with sugary stuff here. Lay the ribs bone-side down (meat side up) in the pan. Roast for 2 1/2 hours.
In the meantime, prepare the pineapple glaze. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the rest of the glaze ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. If you’re cooking with gas, remove the saucepan from the flame before you pour in the rum. Cook to reduce and thicken for about 20-30 minutes. If it starts to bubble too much, turn the heat down. Make sure you watch it and stir often since we’re cooking with lots of sugar.
Set aside 1/2 cup of sauce for glazing the ribs. The rest can be served along with the ribs. You’ll want to do that for sure!
In the last 30 minutes of roasting, baste the ribs with some of the glaze. This is where a silicone brush comes in handy rather than a regular pastry brush. Here’s what the ribs looked like at 60 minutes. Yummy, yummy!
Continue to roast for 15 minutes. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees. Baste the ribs a second time with glaze and roast for a final 15 minutes. I turned up the oven to help build a nice crust on top. I didn’t want to risk burning the glaze. And here’s what these beauties looked like out of the oven!
It’s a good thing I lined the baking sheet with foil. Cut between the ribs with a knife, which shouldn’t be hard since the meat is “almost” fall of the bone at this stage. If you have more time and prefer to have fall-off-the-bone meat, add on 30 minutes more before glazing (that is, roast for 2 1/2 hours and then follow glaze directions). The ribs developed a nice crust although you might not be able to tell in the picture.
Serve these babies up high on a platter and drizzle some sauce over them. Spare the formality, use your fingers and dig in! If you want to enhance the presentation, sprinkle some sesame seeds and chopped cilantro on top. The picture below is on a bed of steamed brown rice. The first picture in the post is served with the dipping sauce on the side and a side of purple sweet potatoes (yum!).