'Barbecued' Baby Back Ribs
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 onions
- 2 large carrots
- 2 heads garlic
- 3 apples
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 racks baby back pork ribs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Flour, for dredging
- 1 cup Worcestershire
- 1 cup tomato ketchup
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- A few fresh thyme sprigs
- A few fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red table wine
- 2 tablespoons potato starch
- Baby greens, for garnish
- Serving suggestion: Warm Potato Salad
- Warm Potato Salad
- 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes
- 4 eggs, hardboiled and halved
- 2 canned anchovy fillets, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup water
- Pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup baby green beans
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Cut the vegetables into nice thick chunks. Halve the garlic and quarter the apples. Don't worry about the skins, seeds, etc. All will be strained later.
Take the racks of ribs, and cut them in half, and season with salt, and pepper. In a large bowl, dredge the rib racks in flour on all sides. In a large wide pot, on high heat, add the oil, let it get hot, and sear the ribs, until brown on all sides. Don't tamper with them. Let their surface maintain a nice contact with the hot pan. It will take about 4 to 5 minutes, per side. Remove the meat, and drain the excess oil, leaving behind all of the solid meaty bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Add all the vegetables, apples, and a few sprigs each of herbs to the pot. Let them caramelize by leaving them to sit without tossing, for a few minutes, then toss to turn them, and let sit a bit longer. Return the ribs to the pot, and place them over the vegetables. In a large bowl, combine the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, cider vinegar, soy, and maple syrup. Add the chipotle peppers with their adobo sauce, to taste. Stir. Add the liquids to the cooking pot. Add the wine, and add enough water, if needed, to ensure that the ribs are just barely covered. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan with foil, and place in the oven until the ribs are barely fork tender - but not so tender they are falling off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the meat from the pot, and cut into rib sections, and set aside. Strain the solids out of the liquid. Return the liquid to the pan, and reduce by half (about 15 minutes), to make the barbecue glaze. When nearly done, remove a 1/2 cup of liquid and place it into a medium bowl, add the potato starch, and whisk till smooth. Whisk the mixture back into the pot. This will help thicken the glaze and give the shiny look and syrupy texture.
Toss the ribs back into the glaze to warm and coat them. Mound the ribs up on a platter, and garnish with a handful of baby greens or sprouts, and serve with Warm Potato Salad.
Put the fingerling potatoes in a saucepot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and add salt, and simmer, until just fork-tender.
Cook's Note: You can use the same pot of water for boiling the eggs and blanching the beans. Just watch the time.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing in a serving bowl, or if you have a mortar and pestle, use that. Begin with mashing the anchovy fillets into the mustard and garlic. Add the vinegar, and slowly whisk in the oil. If too thick, add a little water. Season with salt and pepper.
Blanch the beans in salted boiling water, drain and plunge or chill down in a cold water bath. Drain the beans on a towel.
Peel the eggs and cut in half.
Drain the potatoes, and while still warm, drop them into the serving bowl with the dressing. Add the beans and eggs. Gently fold all together, and serve warm in shallow white plate or bowls.
This salad is also good served at room temperature.