Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pork Ribs Braised in Vietnamese Caramel Sauce

Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a starter – I would double this recipe, if I were you! These ribs have a lovely sweet/salty taste – you could add dried or fresh chilies if you wanted a little zing.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup fish sauce* see note
1/3 cup sliced onions
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 slab pork ribs (1.75 to 2 lbs)

Heat oven 300F. Spread the sugar in the bottom of a wide heavy-based skillet. Pour over 1/4 cup of the water and the lemon juice. Let it sit for a minute. Then heat over medium heat until the sugar begins to liquefy. Reduce the heat the medium low and let the caramel boil until it turns red.

Remove it from the heat and slowly pour 1/4 cup water and the fish sauce into the caramel (this will spatter!). Return to the heat and stir. Let boil for a few minutes, until the sauce is smooth and a bit thick. Add the onions and pepper and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Separate the pork ribs into individual riblets by cutting down between the bones and place in roasting pan or large skillet. Add the caramel sauce, stir to coat, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cover and place in the oven if you’ve doubled the recipe, the cooking time could be 2-2½ hours. The oven should be low enough so they’re just simmering gently; not boiling like mad. Otherwise they’ll be as tough as superballs. And no one likes tough ribs.

The ribs are done when they have become tender enough to pull easily away from the bone and are a deep mahogany colour. At this point, you can serve them or store them. If you want to store them, let them cool and then store in the fridge for 1 to 3 days. They’re better for resting and you can easily remove the layer of fat when the ribs are chilled. Reheat gently and serve with a mountain of napkins!

*If you don’t have fish sauce try 50/50 soy sauce & vinegar

Created for Quest by Chris at:

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