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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Casserole of Spicy Pork Spareribs

This Asian dish is a real family favourite. The addition of the steamed vegetables at the end makes it a complete meal even the little ones would enjoy. You can serve it with rice to make it go further of course. I have made it with Beef ribs and Beef shin, which is often sold in Asian butchers as Osso Bucco. I only ever use veal in my Osso Bucco though!
The Asian butchers also sell Beef asado, which is just another name for ribs, but the term is actually used all over South America for a barbeque. The best thing about shopping at the Asian butchers is the price !! They trim all their meats of fat and don't charge to do it, like the western butchers. So if you have one near you give it a try. They are usually located very near an Asian grocer, well worth a visit to stock up on all your pantry goodies,  and ingredients for this dish and much cheaper !
The pork ribs I use are often sold as pork rashers, as opposed to American ribs. They have a lot more meat on them, but you will have to trim them a little of fat.
I haven't added any salt as the black beans make it salty enough !

1-2 kilos fresh meaty pork spareribs or rashers, trimmed of fat. You can also cut the rind off at this stage or leave it for diners to remove themselves. The rind comes away very easily, when cooked.

2 tablespoons minced ginger
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 tablespoons Chinese black beans not rinsed. ( they are sold at Asian supermarkets in cry vac packs on the shelf )
3 tablespoons sliced shallots
1 stalk of finely chopped lemongrass
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Japanese rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine 
1 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce
Chilli this is entirely up to you, 1 teaspoon will give it a little kick that children could tolerate, go for a bit more if you like your food a bit hotter. Remember its not a chilli dish though, don't put too much in as it will overpower the Asian flavours.
4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
Vegetables of your choice, you may use a combination of any of the following
snow peas, mushrooms , asparagus, capsicum, onions, green beans, baby corn, onions, carrots, zucchini.
Simply prepare the vegetables as you would for a stir fry and set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 180C
Trim your ribs of fat and chop into nuggets. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the pieces of pork until browned. Don't crowd the pan too much , work in batches. Set aside.
Chop and prepare the ginger, garlic, black bean, shallots, chilli and lemongrass.
Heat the oil in a heavy casserole dish that you are using, and fry all of the above. Add the ribs to this mixture.
Combine all of the liquids in a jug, mix together and pour over the ribs, mix in and cover.
Lower the heat to 160C and put the casserole in to cook for 1 hour .
Remove the casserole from the oven and layer your choice of vegetables over the top  and replace the lid. Return the casserole to the oven for a further 15 minutes, when the vegetables will be steamed.

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