This winter has been super busy here at my Brooklyn studio. Since launching Plate & Pencil, and being busy teaching a ton of post-holiday classes, I've been pretty much sticking to simple nightly cooking routines. Roast chicken and salads. Spaghetti. Takeout. A Sunday of dumpling-making followed by 5 days of dumplings for dinner. I kept meaning to get back into the kitchen to develop a new recipe. And luckily, a few weeks ago, I got asked by Bonne Maman, one of my favorite jam companies, to develop a recipe with the National Pork Board to use one of their delicious jams and preserves with St. Louis-style pork ribs.
How could I say no to developing a recipe for sweet and savory ribs?
When I make Chinese-style roasted meats, there is usually a sweet element involved, whether in the form of honey, sugar, and/or hoisin sauce. So it wasn't a big departure to use plum preserves instead. The thick texture makes the preserves perfect for a marinade, and they whisk easily with other ingredients I have on hand.
For this recipe, I used St. Louis-style pork ribs, which are basically just pork ribs with the sternum bone, cartilage, and rib tips removed. Any good butcher can easily square off the rack of ribs for you. Though the name of the cut comes from St. Louis-style barbecue, it's also the cut most typically served in Chinese restaurants in the US.
So...have these photos enticed you enough to try them yet? They are super easy with a great complex flavor of sweetness from the preserves, tartness from the vinegar, earthiness from the hoisin sauce, and lip-smacking savoriness from the soy sauce and pork itself. Not to mention roasted garlic aroma and flavor. You simply cut the ribs apart before roasting, whisk together the marinade, wait a few hours, then roast in the for 45 to 50 minutes. St. Louis-style ribs are so incredibly versatile and easy to prepare that it's surprising more home cooks don't use them for more than barbecue.
So, dear readers, now you have a chance to win some cool prizes: a $40 Visa gift card courtesy of the National Board Pork, and 12 jars of Bonne Maman jams ($60 value).
- Simply visit porkbeinspired.com/PORKLUV or http://facebook.com/PorkBeInspired and post a message sharing why you love pork with the hastag #PORKLUV.
- You can get an additional entry by using Twitter to tweet about this recipe with hashtag #PORKLUV.
- Then just post a comment here at the bottom of this post with your name and email address so we can contact you.
- Giveaway will end March 7th, 2014.
Plus! By sharing your #PORKLUV you'll also be helping those in need. Each Facebook share will turn up the heat on the #PORKLUV map, an interactive map that measures how much #PORKLUV there is in each state. The state with the most shares will receive a 30,000-meal fresh pork donation to the food bank in their state.
Hope you enjoy the recipe and follow the simple steps above for a chance to win and help your state's food bank!
Chinese Pork Ribs with Plum Preserves
- 4 pounds St. Louis-style pork ribs
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup Bonne Maman plum jam
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- Prepare the marinade: in a large bowl, combine the minced garlic, plum jam, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and hoisin sauce. Whisky until smooth. Place the ribs in a gallon-size freezer bag and pour the marinade over the ribs. Close the bag and shake so that all the ribs get covered with marinade. Place the freezer bag in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with tin foil or parchment paper. Place the ribs on the lined baking sheets bone-side-down. Reserve the remaining marinade and brush some of it on top with a pastry brush. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes, brushing more marinade over the top of the ribs about halfway through. The ribs are done when they are golden brown on top and cooked through.
- Transfer the ribs to a large platter and serve. Enjoy!