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Country-Style Ribs Char Siu

Dec. 10, 2014

By Jimmy Carbone, food activist, owner of Jimmy's No. 43 restaurant, and producer of Pig Island event

Owner of a restaurant in Manhattan for over 20 years, Jimmy Carbone loves to be part of a community which both relies on farmers for best quality foods, and strives to support them. In 2011 Jimmy Carbone started Pig Island, the New York City’s pork fest. This annual event features renown cooks creating outdoor delicious pork dishes from small, family own pig farm’s heritage meat. This recipe is part of “I Like Pig”, a cookbook in which Carbone collected some of the recipes that has been featured in the past four editions of Pig Island. I Like Pig: Recipes and Inspiration from New York City's Pig Island tells a story of a community though the journey of pigs from small farms to Brooklyn eateries, finally inviting people to cook great local pork in their homes. Give these tasty ribs a try at your own Nose-to-Tailgate.

Country-Style Ribs Char SiuCountry-Style Ribs Char-Siu
adapted from Cathy Erway and Noah Berland
serves 2-4

Cathy Erway is the author of “The Art of Eating In,” the founder of the widely read blog “Not Eating Out in NY,” and one of the most hard-working members of New York City’s sustainable food scene. Erway accompanied by her friend Noah Berland –a medical student with a passion for cooking- share a fondness for Asian food. They made this red dye-free riff on Cantonese barbecued pork for Pig Island in 2012. Traditionally, says Noah, Chinese cooks cut the pork into smaller pieces and cook them over a real fire on skewers or forks, “hence the char (“fork”) in char siu.” You could use this glaze, as the Chinese do, on almost any cut of pork you roast or grill depending on your goal — a lean slice of loin atop a rice bowl or a fattyfatty piece of belly in a bun with cilantro and scallions.

Cathy and Noah originally used boneless pork butt and belly, and you can too; we found applying the glaze to country style ribs — which are actually not ribs but lean rib-size slabs cut from a bone-in loin— was a good way to use an inexpensive and lesser-known cut. At Pig Island, they served their char siu pork butt on steamed Chinese buns with homemade sauerkraut; we served these ribs with white rice dressed with vinegar and scallions and bok choy with chile-oil.

Ingredients:
2-3 pounds country style ribs (about 4 big ribs)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup hoisin sauce or garlic hoisin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/3 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 250°F. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Combine hoisin, soy sauce, rice wine, five spice powder, white pepper and honey. Put the ribs in a single layer in a medium-sized baking dish. Baste the ribs very liberally with the sauce, making sure to coat all sides. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil or a tight-fitting lid and bake at 250 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. Remove foil or lid, baste ribs with more sauce, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes more or until ribs are tender, basting often. The ribs should be both tender and lacquered with glaze when done. Let ribs rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Excerpt From: Jimmy Carbone. “I Like Pig: Recipes and Inspiration from New York City's Pig Island.” iBooks.

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