Sunday, June 15, 2014

David Lebovitz's Caramel Pork Ribs and Garlicky Slaw

I love summer -- we had school responsibilities this past week but they were chill, and I have research coming up but it's so much less stressful than the school year. Instead of studying on weekends, I get to cook, pig out, and then nap all day. My first project this summer is this recipe by David Lebovitz, as I've been an avid fan of his blog for years. The guy can cook and has incredible ice cream recipes, and you gotta admire a person who makes a living enjoying life. He used to be the pastry chef at Chez Panisse, then gave up everything to move to Paris but still has a crazy fan following in the US. It looks like all he does each day is cook/blog, write for his book, and give food tours to the rich and wealthy. What a life.

I was reading a post on his blog about the making of his new book, My Paris Kitchen, and his photos of the caramel pork ribs made me realize that I needed to get my hands on that book so that I could attempt them myself asap. I finally gave it a shot, and wow. The flavors were Asian-inspired, which was surprising, but crazy delicious as expected.

Recipe from David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar, light or dark
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 (1/2-inch/2cm) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons harissa, Sriracha sauce, or another hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pounds pork ribs, cut into 3- or 4-rib portions

We bought three racks of ribs at Costco and used one rack for this recipe, which we cut into 3-rib sections. Costco sells the freshest, highest quality ribs that I've found anywhere. I froze the other two racks and have big plans for them soon puahaha.

Preheat oven to 350F. Over the stove, add your regular sugar to your dutch oven and caramelize the sugar over medium heat. I added a bit of water to moisten the sugar, since I find it easier to caramelize sugar without burning it in this way while yielding the same results. Continue to heat the sugar until it becomes a deep copper colored liquid (be careful not to burn it!), then remove from heat and stir in your brown sugar.

Add the beer. This step is exciting since it reacts violently and the caramel will seize up, so be careful. 

Turn the stove to low heat. Add bourbon, cider vinegar, ketchup, ginger, soy sauce, Sriracha (or another hot sauce), dijon, and black pepper.

Add your ribs (don't worry if they're not completely submerged by the sauce), turn up the heat, and cook until the sauce heats up and bubbles, then transfer the pot to the oven. Let it roast with the lid on for 1.5-2 hours, flipping the ribs every 30 minutes or so, then remove the lid and let it roast for 30 more minutes at the end to thicken the juices.

While the ribs were roasting, we made the slaw...

Recipe also from David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups sliced and hand-shredded raw vegetables (any combination of cabbage (red or green), radicchio, endive, carrots, beets, apples, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, fennel, kohlrabi, avocados, hard-cooked eggs)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives (we used green onions instead) 

For the dressing, combine mayo, vinegar, minced garlic, Dijon, and black pepper (I garnished with a bit of parsley as well). I had planned to make this meal a couple days earlier, so I had the dressing premade already and it sat in the fridge for a couple days. I think that letting it sit in the fridge helped the garlic permeate throughout the dressing, and allowed the flavors to meld.

For the veg, I sliced up red cabbage, carrots, avocados, apples, and hard-boiled eggs, then added parsley and green onions.

When the ribs were almost done roasting in the oven, I tossed the slaw with the dressing.

Ribs, fresh out of the oven, oh my golly.

Plated (on my gorgeous new plates!). I devoured this and a second helping, followed by the most lovely food coma-induced cat nap. Hooray.

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