Sunday, 26 August 2012

Rick's Chile-Glazed Country Ribs with Simple Guacamole

The nights have been getting cooler here, and although the days have heated up again this week - fall is smelling closer with those evening breezes.

This means we have to get in as much grilling as possible before the snow flies. Not that we can't grill in the winter... but it seems very necessary to make the most of the good weather now - before I become attached to my oven again.

So let's grill up some ribs, shall we? Sticky savoury sweet ribs with a refreshing guac to go with. Don't forget the cervezas!

Simple Guacamole
Guacamole Sencillo
Serves 8 to 12 as a snack
Recipe adapted from Season 3 of Mexico - One Plate at a Time, Rick Bayless


2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled
Hot fresh green chiles to taste, stems removed
3 ripe avocados, preferably the black-skinned Hass
A couple of tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1 small white onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Sour cream to taste

Finely chop the garlic and green chiles, and scoop them into a bowl.

One at a time, run a knife down through each avocado, starting at the top, until you reach the pit; continue cutting around the pit until you reach the point you started.

Twist the two halves of the avocado apart. Remove the pit and discard. Scoop the flesh into the bowl with the chiles. Mash coarsely with the back of a spoon or an old-fashioned potato masher.

Add the tomato and onion, stir to combine, then taste. Stir in sour cream and season with salt (usually about a teaspoon) and lime juice.

Chile-Glazed Country Ribs
(Costillas Adobadas)
adapted from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

1 garlic bulb, broken into individual cloves, unpeeled
3 (about 1 1/2 ounces total) dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
6 (about 1 1/2 ounces total) dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
1 teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
A pinch of cloves, preferably freshly ground
1 tsp of cumin, preferably freshly ground
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup beer, plus a little more if needed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 pounds pork country ribs
2 tablespoons honey

1. Making the chile marinade. Set an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat, lay in the unpeeled garlic and roast, turning occasionally, until blackened in spots and soft, about 15 minutes; cool, then peel. Toast the chiles a few at a time: open them flat on the hot surface, press flat for a few seconds with a metal spatula (until they start to crackle, even send up a faint wisp of smoke), then flip and press down to toast the other side. In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking. Drain and discard the water.
Place the chiles and garlic in a food processor or blender along with the oregano, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, cumin and vinegar. Measure in the broth or water, then blend to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds. (If the mixture won't move through the blender blades, add a little more broth to get things going.) Press the puree through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the salt and vinegar.

2. Marinating the ribs. Place the ribs in a large bowl, smear half of the chile marinade over them, cover and refrigerate for several hours (preferably overnight). Combine the remaining chile marinade with the honey, cover and refrigerate.

3. Cooking the ribs. Turn on the oven to 290 degrees. Transfer the ribs and all their marinade to a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer (a sheet pan with sides works perfectly). In a foil package, bake low and slow for 90 minutes. Let cool slightly while you prepare your BBQ.

4. Glazing and serving the ribs. Salt ribs and give them gentle grilling on medium heat- Brush the ribs heavily with the marinade-honey mixture. Grill gently until the ribs are burnished cranberry color, about 4 minutes per side. Serve with guacamole and either beans and rice or potato salad.

ADVANCE PREPARATION -- The chile marinade can be made a couple of weeks in advance; marinate the ribs (step 2) overnight or as long as 2 days. The ribs may be cooked a day in advance, but save the final glazing for serving time.

Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded IHCC