Monday, 21 July 2008

Magazine Monday - Honey Tamarind Baby Back Ribs

I love a recipe that I don't have to shop for. This rib recipe contains all ingredients that I have at home and has just the right balance of tart, sticky and sweet. Ribs are not a first date food, you need to be with people that you are comfortable with as you gnaw and slurp and lick your fingers. Served with an Asian slaw, they are a perfect rustic family and friends meal.

Honey Tamarind Baby Back Ribs

From Food and Wine, August 2008

2 racks baby back ribs (5 1/4 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup clover or other mild honey
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Asian chili paste, such as sambal oelek


Preheat the oven to 275°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Put the ribs on the baking sheet and season on both sides with salt and black pepper. Bake the ribs, meaty side up, for 2 1/2 hours, or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the honey, ketchup, soy sauce, ginger, tamarind, garlic and chili paste until smooth.

Increase the oven temperature to 450°. Drain the fat from the baking sheet. Brush the ribs with the barbecue sauce. Roast the ribs, bony side up, for 10 minutes, until richly browned. Turn the ribs over, brush with more sauce and roast for 5 minutes, until browned. Brush the ribs with the remaining barbecue sauce and roast for 5 minutes longer, until deeply browned and glossy. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut the racks into ribs and serve.

Variation: Grill the ribs over moderately low heat, turning and brushing frequently with the sauce, until cooked through.

Notes from my kitchen

*Being me, I doubled the garlic. (Unrepentant garlic lover that I am.)

*I used beef ribs as they were what I had in the freezer but I think pork would be even better.

*If you have an Asian market near by, look for tamarind puree in a jar. It is so much easier to work with than the little bricks that you have to soak and strain.

Magazine Mondays is the brainchild of Cream Puffs in Venice as a way to encourage us voracious foodie magazine readers and collectors to actually test recipes from them on a regular basis. Feel free to visit Cream Puff to play along or just to drool over her latest creations.