Indian-ish Pork Ribs

I learned a lot of things in culinary school, but perhaps most important was to trust myself enough to try new things - new ingredients, new flavors, new techniques. Tried and true recipes are great, but sometimes you've just got to mix it up - swap out a familiar ingredient with something you've never tried before or try a different cooking technique to see how the end result changes. Sometimes these experiments fail, sure. But sometimes they don't, and you end up with something new and fun and, of course, delicious. Take this dish, which I'm calling Indian-ish Pork Ribs because, other than the Garam Masala Spice Blend, there's not really anything that's traditionally Indian about it. This recipe came about because I wanted to make some pork ribs but wanted to change things up from my usual sauce choices, and I also wanted to find some fun ways to use my Garam Masala Spice Blend. I had NO idea whether this was going to work out, but HOT DAMN, did it ever!


If you don't already have an immersion circulator, let me just take a second to say that you should, even if it's only to cook ribs. I know the BBQ die hards out there are screaming about my being sacrilegious, but hear me out. Not everyone has the ability, space, or equipment to do low-and-slow ribs on a grill or in a smoker. My Anova immersion circulator takes up a few inches in a cabinet (plus the 12-quart plastic Cambro container I use for the water bath). No, I don't get that smoky crust on my ribs the way a real Texas BBQ does, but I get to start my ribs up to 36 hours ahead of time (24 hours is my sweet spot) and literally walk away and do nothing else until I'm ready to finish them and make my sauce. The low and slow cooking results in the kind of fall-off-the-bone ribs that dreams are made of, and I had to do almost nothing to make it happen. That said, I have also included directions for how to make this recipe in the oven or in a slow cooker. Your ribs won't be quite as tender, but they'll still be delicious.


So, without further delay, let's get to cooking, shall we?



Indian-ish Pork Ribs


Serves 2 (generously) or 3


Ingredients:

  • Two racks St. Louis–style pork ribs, membranes removed and cut into 2-riblet sections

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 3 tablespoons Garam Masala, divided

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (for stovetop method only)

  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons double-concentrate tomato paste

  • Steamed basmati rice, for serving


Sous Vide Directions


Season the ribs with salt and 2 tablespoons Garam Masala. Place ribs in a vacuum-sealable bag and add the red onion, garlic, and ginger to the bag. Vacuum seal the bag and place in a sous vide water bath. Cook for 24 hours at 155F.


Remove bag from water bath. Pull out the ribs and set them aside. Dump the rest of the bag into a small saucepan. Add the chicken stock and tomato paste and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until reduced by about half. You're looking for it to be a saucy consistency. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the ribs to warm them through.


Place ribs on a serving platter and drizzle with some sauce. Serve with steamed basmati rice as well as the remaining sauce and A LOT of napkins.



Oven or Slow Cooker Directions


Preheat oven to 325F.


Season the ribs with salt and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.


In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons vinegar with 2 tablespoons Garam Masala and 2 teaspoons black pepper, forming a paste.


Heat the oil in a large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or casserole. Add the red onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, spice mixture, and tomato paste and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until deep red in color, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and remaining vinegar, and bring to a simmer. (Transfer sauce to your slow cooker, if using.) Add ribs to the party and cover with the lid. If using the oven, transfer to oven and cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until the ribs are tender. If using a slow cooker, cook on Low for 6-8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours until the ribs are tender.


Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into individual ribs, if desired. Simmer the sauce until thickened and reduced by half. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon Garam Masala and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the ribs to the sauce and stir to coat.


Place ribs on a serving platter and drizzle with some sauce. Serve with steamed basmati rice as well as the remaining sauce and A LOT of napkins.



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