I did just that last night as my wife and kids are off on vacation and I get to make my own rules for a short while.
So in the spirit of single indulgence and in homage to the relaxed cooking experiences I vaguely remember BG (before Gastrokids) I went the whole hog……well the ribs to specific.
Securing pork ribs from our organic butcher at the local farmer’s market can be quite a challenge. His selection is normally snapped up within minutes of opening so I’d pre-ordered my single rack the week before.
Now, fighting the normal need to whip up something in 40 minutes or less I set about preparing Asian-style orange and soy ribs.
It was going to take about 2.5 hours and with the help of the radio, the New Yorker and a largish glass of red wine, I was determined to enjoy myself.
First though, here’s what you need for the soy-orange ribs.
1 rack of pork ribs, separated
3/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice (now you know I had time on my hands!)
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
three cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
a pinch of red chile flakes
salt and pepper
Now back to the story.
I brought the orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sugar to a boil in a large rectangular roasting pan over a medium flame until the sugar was dissolved. I pre-heated the oven to 325 degrees F.
Then, just as I was going to cut the ribs, the family phone from vacation throwing off my timing by at least another 15 minutes and requiring me to disinfect the cordless phone that I had hastily picked up with pork rib hands.
But I digress….I placed the ribs in the soy-orange sauce (I’d taken it off the heat when the phone rang) and made sure they were fully coated. Then I covered the roasting pan with aluminum foil, placed it in the middle of the oven and retired to the New Yorker and my glass of wine.
Ah….how can I explain the strange sensation of actually having time to read and potter while your pork ribs are cooking? For a moment I contemplated tidying some of the toys that still lay strewn in the kids’ playroom, but then thought better of it.
This meal was all about me, especially the parts where I didn’t have to do anything! Every 30 minutes I tended my pork rib charges, lovingly turning them to make sure they didn’t dry out during their low-heat slow bake.
Finally, after 2.5 hours in the oven, I brought them out, transferred the ribs to another oven-proof pan, reduced the heat to 200 degrees and returned the ribs to keep them warm. I poured the soy-orange sauce into a small saucepan and reduced it over a medium-high flame for a further 15 minutes until the marinade was thick and easy to pour.
Then I dribbled the sauce over the ribs and quickly stuck them under the broiler for five minutes.
The end result? Tangy, rich flavored ribs with meat that pretty much fell off the bone.
I didn’t eat the whole rack in one sitting….honest. And I even had the forethought to make myself a salad.
Beats enforced bachelorhood take out any day.