Saturday, 29 March 2014

Braised bacon ribs

Braised RibsWhile browsing a few weeks ago in Eason's, I came across The Australian Women's Weekly Easy Slow Cooking recipe book. I like this series of recipes, and the book was only €10, so I decided to add it to my vast collection of recipe books.

Last weekend, while we were planning meals for the week (the only way, when you have two working parents) Hubby picked out a recipe for braised asian-style beef ribs. We put it on the list and made sure to add any unusal ingredients to the shopping list. When shopping later that day, we managed to get mirin (a Japanese condiment, similar to sake, but with lower alcohol and more sugar). However, when we asked at the butcher about beef ribs, he explained that there isn't much demand for these and they would need to be ordered in advance. A little stumped, Hubby found some low-salt bacon ribs and we decided to adapt the recipe to use these instead.


So, on Wednesday evening, Hubby put together the sauce, which was left in the fridge overnight. This involved combining: 1/2 cup hoisin sauce; 1/4 cup soy sauce; 1/4 cup mirin; 1/2 cup honey; a 2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated; 3 cloves garlic, crushed; a fresh red chilli, sliced thinly; 2tsp sesame oil; and 2 strips orange rind. All this just involved a lot of measuring, and a little peeling and chopping.

Next morning, I cut each rack of ribs (2 racks, each about about 850g) into 3 pieces so that they would fit into the crock pot, then poured the sauce over. I switched it on low just before I left for work, about 8:30am, and left it all day.

When I got home at about 6:30pm, we switched the slow cooker to "keep warm". I put a tray of baby potatoes into the oven to roast, while I went to a meeting in the school. When I got home, at almost 8pm, we were finally ready to eat. By this time the ribs were cooked well, so that the meat was almost falling from the bones. It was still possible to cut the ribs into singles and we ate them with our fingers.

The Verdict

The ribs were good. However, even though they were low-salt bacon, there was enough salt in them to combine with the soy sauce in the sauce to make the overall taste very salty. We drank a lot of water! Although Mr Teenager liked them, and did go back for more, he couldn't finish. They were just a bit too salty. Ms Fussy Eater refused to eat the ribs at all, and just filled herself up with the roast baby potatoes.

So, overall, not our best effort. I certainly wouldn't make this disc with bacon ribs again. I might make the effort to order beef ribs sometime, or it might work with pork ribs.

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