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Friday, December 10, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Szechuan Grilled Spareribs

( not my own recipe... haven't tried it before, but it I am excited to! :)

Cooked slow and low these ribs are fall off the bone good.

Servings:         4
Prep time:       45 minutes
Cook time:      3 to 4 hours
Total time:       4 hours 45 minutes


4 pounds of beef or pork spareribs
marinade/grilling/dipping sauce:
4 cloves of garlic
8 teaspoons fresh ginger root
2 cup soy sauce
2 cups rice wine vinegar (or distilled white vinegar in a pinch)
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons of chili paste (or to taste, chili paste is very spicy)
5 scallions, with 1 inch of green tops, sliced crosswise into rings
2/3 cup honey
2⁄3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoon dark sesame oil
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
corn starch thickening slurry:
3 tablespoon corn starch 
3 tablespoon COLD water

1. If your ribs have not been already trimmed by the butcher, trim them as follows: 
2. Place the ribs meat-side up on a cutting board. There is a line of fat at the base of the ribs; cut along it to remove the rib tips, they're composed of cartilage and add nothing to the ribs. Turn the meat over, rib-side up. 
3. Cut off the flap of meat on the inside of the ribs. (The reason for removing these pieces is that they will burn well before the ribs are done. You can marinate and season these flaps with the rest of the ribs and grill them over direct heat for about 15 minutes, turning once. They are delicious.) 
4. With the rib-side up, work a sharp knife under the tough, silver-skin like membrane that covers the bones. Working from one rib to the next, pull the membrane off the rib. (For a better grip, grab the membrane with a paper towel.) The membrane may tear and you may have to start over, but be patient – removing the membrane allows the spices and smoke to penetrate the ribs, and makes the ribs much more attractive and easy to eat. This is also a good time to slice partially between each rib to make separating them later easier.
5. In a small measuring cup combine and thoroughly mix the cornstarch thickening slurry.
6. Combine the marinade/grilling/dipping sauce ingredients in a large pan. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat. Once the sauce begins to boil stir in the thickening slurry and continue to stir, being careful not to allow the boiling sauce to overflow the pan (reduce heat if necessary or occasionally remove the pan from the heat until the foam subsides) but maintain the boil until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and separate into thirds; 1/3 to use as a marinade, 1/3 to use as a basting, and 1/3 to use at the table as a sauce.
7. In a shallow, plastic or non-reactive pan or bowl large enough to hold the ribs, place the ribs in and brush the1/3 of the sauce reserved for marinating over the both sides of the ribs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hours turning occasionally during this time. 
8. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1/2 hour before grilling; this will help prevent the meat from "seizing up" and becoming tough when placed on the grill. 
9. Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for indirect grilling over low heat. 
10. Place ribs on the grill meat side down and grill the ribs, covered, until they are crispy, and the meat has pulled back from the bone, 3 to 4 hours, depending on the heat of your grill. Baste the ribs with the 1/3 of the sauce reserved for basting about every hour, and turn them during grilling. 
11. If the ribs are done before you are ready to eat, wrap them in heavy-duty aluminum foil and leave them over very low, indirect heat for up to 1 hour. 
12. Remove the ribs from the grill and coat any remaining basting sauce prior to service. Serve accompanied by the remaining 1/3 of the sauce and a variety of cold salads such as potato, macaroni, and/or cole slaw or Asian sides of your choice. 

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