Big Pete has a love/hate relationship with ribs and chicken wings. He loves them when they are really well cooked and hates them if they are all loose, flabby and fatty when they are under cooked. So....I am always trying to create a very dry rib with lots of flavour for him and I love them with sauce.
This recipe is the perfect combination for both of us. I have to say I will definitely be making these again.
They have big bold flavours of ginger, garlic,star anise and chili flakes along with the sticky sweet honey that I love. YUM!! You have got to cook these.
You will need:
- 2 racks of baby back ribs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ginger -lots! (take 3 inches and peel and slice)
- 4 cloves of garlic- chopped fine
- 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
- 4 star anise
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 green onions
- 1 cup apple juice
- squeeze of lemon and a bit more honey to finish at the end!
Heat oven to 350 degrees F
Step 1: remove silver skin from back of the ribs and slice in between each bone- the smaller ends I usually slice in between every 2 bones to make the pieces somewhat similar. Heat the pan and at the the last second add a few tbsp olive oil and immediately add ribs. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook until the ribs develop some carmelization on the meat. There should also be some good browned or almost burnt bits in the pan. This is good flavour and you want lots of it!
Step 2: Slice ginger and add to pan. Sprinkle chopped garlic, szechuan peppercorns, chili flakes,star anise and five spice powder all over ribs. In a small bowl add soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar and stir to dissolve. Pour over ribs and toss scraping off any burnt bits in pan. Add apple juice to cover the ribs halfway in liquid. If you are using a larger pan you may need more apple juice/cider. Sprinkle some green onions on top. Pour enough apple juice to come up to halfway up the ribs. Let the liquid come to a boil on the stove, scraping all the bits off pan.
Step 3: braise in a 350 degree oven uncovered for 45 minutes, then turn and scrape the bottom and cook for another 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to less than half. You can turn them every 15 minutes for the last 45 minutes.
Step 4: remove the ribs, skim off the fat with a paper towel and return the pan to the stove to scrape off every bit of stuck on yummy stuff in the pan and reduce the sauce even further. You can add a few more tbsp of honey to the sauce and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Taste it and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve just as they are for those that like em' dry. You can also sprinkle a bit more five spice and chili flakes for added zip.
Add your dipping sauce to a bowl for those that want to dip in sauce!