Resolutions & Ribs
Hello, hello, dear abandoned blog. I know. It’s been quite a while. In all honestly, we’ve been cooking A LOT in the last year. (Except for a few weeks this summer when there was a variety of living room furniture blocking the stove. See above photo.) I’ll have to admit, my biggest energy barrier to blogging is getting the photos online. I’ve also been having an identity crisis of sorts about what I want this food blog to be. Should it be healthy recipes? Easy recipes? Cheap recipes? Ridiculous baked goods? Do I want to include nutrition information or budgetary breakdowns? Who cares? What I really need to do is to talk myself out of this blogging existential crisis. But I’ve made a resolution – let’s do this thing once a week. We come up with some tasty stuff in our kitchen, and I need to document it for myself if no one else. The perfect is the enemy of the good.
Oh, right! Food! I bet you came here for a recipe. Here’s another resolution for us: use the slow cooker. We made a super delicious slow cooker pork shoulder for a potluck over the holidays, and it made us remember the biggest time-saving tool in our kitchen arsenal. I’ve got a new friend who is a slow cooker genius, so I’m hoping to try a few of her recipes in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, let’s kick off 2012 with another slow cooker pork recipe – Asian pork ribs.
My only caveat with this recipe is that it only takes 5 hours on low in the slow cooker. I read these types of recipes and they make me instantly crabby because I can’t add everything to the crock at 8 a.m. only to revisit it after work. Luckily, everything can be mixed the night before and if you’re able to stop home at lunch to turn on the crock, they’ll be ready when you walk in the door after work. Serve with rice and lightly steamed broccoli or a veggie of your liking.
4-5 lbs country pork ribs
1-2 small onions, cut into wedges
2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth or stock
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp black bean garlic sauce (Available in the Asian aisle or at an Asian grocery)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp garlic, finely minced or run through the garlic press
1 Tbsp cornstarch
red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper
Note: The marinade can be mixed the night before, but we didn’t pour over the ribs until just before turning on the slow cooker as to not over-marinate. We added the ribs & onions to the crock and put the sauce and the crock on the fridge overnight.
Yield: about 6 servings (with ~4.5 lbs package of ribs)
1. Cut the onions into large wedges. Layer the onions and ribs in the crock of the slow cooker. Add a few grinds of black pepper & red pepper flakes over the top of the ribs (there’s enough salt in the soy sauce and chicken stock that the ribs didn’t need any additional salt).
2. Mix the broth, soy sauce, black bean garlic sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, honey, grated ginger, garlic and cornstarch in a medium bowl and whisk briefly to combine.
3. When you’re ready to turn on the slow cooker, pour the marinade over the ribs and turn the slow cooker to low for 5-6 hours.
4. When the meat is tender and slightly falling off the bone, the ribs are ready to go. They can be removed from the slow cooker, and the sauce can be thickened slightly in a saucepan if you like. We didn’t take the time to do this, but I think the gingery sauce would have been delicious over rice!