Fermented black beans and scallions give these ribs crunch, while rice wine and hoisin sauce give it some Asian flair. You can also cook the ribs the day before the big game, refrigerating them in their braising liquid overnight.
Baby Back Ribs with Black Beans and ScallionsServes 6
1 cup rice wine or sake
½ cup Chinese-style fermented, salted black beans (available at Asian markets)
¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
1 cup water
3 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. peanut oil
2 full racks of baby back ribs of pork, cut into "2 rib" sections"
8 whole dried chilies, preferably tsin-tsin or Thai-style (Note: breaking the chilies will increase the heat in the dish)
8 whole peeled cloves of garlic, halved
2 bunches scallions, chopped into 1-in. lengths, plus thinly sliced scallions for garnish
Chopped cilantro and scallions for garnish
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the sake with the black beans, soy sauce, hoisin, oyster sauce and 1 cup of water. Let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large enameled, cast-iron casserole, heat the oil until simmering. Add half of the ribs at a time and cook over moderately high heat, turning a few times, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a platter.
3. Add the chilies, garlic and cut scallions to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant. Add the sake mixture and bring to a simmer, then add the ribs. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until the ribs are tender, about 1 hour.
4. Uncover the casserole and simmer over moderate heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a platter. Pour the sauce into a heatproof measuring cup and skim off the fat. Sprinkle the ribs with the sliced scallions and cilantro and serve, passing the sauce at the table.
Courtesy Andrew Zimmern