As you may or may not know, I'm not a great cook. I do it because it's incredibly satisfying to put food on the table and have the chance to sit down with friends and family and eat it. Except there are a lot of times when my attempts fall short and my kids are forced to have "breakfast for dinner" because dinner for dinner is inedible. So naturally ribs have always been intimidating to me. Every recipe seemed to have a million steps and seemed to take hours of work. Until I found this one on Food52 (where I fond 99% of my recipes). It's incredibly easy and the ribs are unbelievably delicious. I doubled the recipe to make two racks and it wasn't enough - the kids hovered them in a matter of a seconds. I served them with brown rice and sautéed bok choy.
CHINESE STYLE HONEY HOISIN STICKY RIBS
WHAT YOU NEED (FOR BRAISING THE RIBS)
1 rack of pork baby back ribs, cut in half
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into disks
1 thumb of ginger, about one inch, sliced
1 head of garlic, sliced in half across the cloves
1 cup tamari soy sauce, or your favorite brand
WHAT YOU DO
1. Place the ribs into the bottom of a snug, heavy bottomed pot (make sure you have a lid for the pot, be it an actual lid, sheet tray, or pizza pan). Add the rest of the ingredients, then add water to cover the ribs by 1 inch.
2. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low, put the lid on, and simmer the ribs until they are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The meat should shrink on the rib bones, and the actual bones should have revealed themselves by 3/8 to 1/2 an inch. You can test for tenderness by slicing a sliver from an end and taste. It should have some tooth but still be tender.
3. Remove the ribs from the pot and discard the braising liquid. You can make a soup from the liquid, or freeze it for the next time you want to make an Asian red cooked dish. (If you plan to cook the ribs later in the week, you can let the ribs cool right in the pot, then place the whole thing into the fridge until you are ready to finish the ribs in the oven.)
WHAT YOU NEED (TO FINISH THE RIBS)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
1/3 cup honey
1 green onion cut into slivers
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
WHAT YOU DO
1. In a small bowl combine the hoisin, oyster, soy, sriracha, vinegar, and honey. Whisk to combine.
2. When you are ready to finish cooking the ribs, heat the oven to 450? F. Place the ribs onto a sheet tray lined with foil for easy clean-up. Using a grill brush, paint both sides of the ribs with a light coating of the sauce.
3. Keep coating the ribs with the sauce until they take on a lacquer quality, then bake them until they start to darken and caramelize. Remove the ribs from the oven and cut them into pieces. To serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with green onion.