What an unusual weekend, weather-wise. Over the space of 48 hours, we had whiteout conditions, bright sun, rain, and a temperature that fluctuated by at least 30 degrees. Wacky.
Now, to answer the question on your lips right now: Yum. Yes, those ribs were great. These are Vietnamese-style braised pork ribs. The original recipe is by Molly Stevens and comes from her book All About Braising.
I read about these on David Lebovitz's blog and I had no choice - I had to make them. Do not be afraid of the fish sauce in the recipe - it doesn't make the ribs taste fishy, I swear. Do however, ventilate well during the sauce-making section (it doesn't taste fishy, but wooh, it does smell fishy). Check out David's tips at the end of his post, they were very useful. I made a double batch and baked them at 300 for about 2 and a half hours. BTW, you'll have to click through to Chubby Hubby's blog for the actual recipe.
The first part of the recipe, making the braising liquid, is pretty hands on. But, once the ribs are in the oven, I stirred them about every 30 minutes and that was it. The sauce was really fatty, so plan on some degreasing time if you're planning on serving these the same day you make them. (Otherwise, chill the ribs and then pull off the fat after it's cold.) The braising liquid was also pretty thin at the end of cooking, so after degreasing, I reduced it by about a third and produced a gorgeous, silky sauce.
Menu for the Week
Vietnamese caramel pork ribs
Kim chee (not Vietnamese, I know)
Grilled Fontina sandwiches
Cauliflower with cilantro and mustard
Roasted eggplant with ginger and garlic
Red lentil dal
Green apple raita
Tortellini in brodo
Bitter greens salad
Lemon tart with lavender cream
French bread pizzas with mushrooms