Oven Baked Coffee Ribs with Spiced Rice

Pork Ribs and Spiced Rice

This was inspired by one of my fav chinese ‘zu char’ (casual chinese restaurant dining) dishes – coffee pork ribs. But with a spin using western cooking technique to make it slightly healthier. Lose the fats, not the taste!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 8 Pork Short Ribs (Pick the meaty ones)
  • Good Quality Instant Coffee Powder (I use Robert Timms)
  • 1 large Yellow Onion or 2 medium ones
  • 2 shallots
  • Chicken Stock
  • Cinnamon Sticks or Powder
  • Whole Cloves
  • Whole Star Anise
  • Dried Chili
  • Turmeric
  • Rice

Making it Happen! (Ribs)

1. Start by making a braising solution
2. To a medium heavy bottom pot add:
• 2 cups of chicken stock
• 1 teaspoon of sugar
• 1 cinnamon stick (or a generous sprinkle of cinnamon powder)
• 1 whole dried chili
• 1 large onion finely sliced
3. Bring the solution to a boil over medium heat and turn the heat to low
4. Add 2 pinches of salt, generous sprinkle of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of coffee powder
5. Adjust according to taste, the coffee taste should only be a hint of flavor and not be overpowering
6. The braising solution should have a combination of sweet, salty, spicy and bitter (from the coffee)
7. Set the solution aside once you are happy with the taste
8. Pre heat the oven to 200 Celsius
9. Season your ribs with a few pinches of salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder. Pork, like chicken is more neutral so you can afford to season it a bit more fearlessly.
10. Add enough oil (any oil except extra virgin olive oil) to a heavy bottom pan to thinly coat the surface
11. Over medium heat, leave it until the oil starts to smoke
12. Sear the ribs in the pan at that point
13. Sear each side for 2 to 3 minutes or until brown
14. Set the seared ribs aside in a deep baking tray
15. Add the braising solution to the pan in which the ribs were seared to deglaze
16. Pour this solution from the pan into the baking tray
17. Place a baking sheet on top of the meat
18. Seal the baking tray with 2 layers of aluminum foil
19. Place in pre heated oven for 2 hours at 200 Celsius
20. Let the ribs rest for at least 10 minutes before serving
21. Done!

Making it Happen! (Spiced Rice)

1. To a medium heavy bottom pot, over a medium heat add a thin layer of oil
2. Add:
• Shallots, finely diced
• 1 clove
• 1 star anise
• 1 stick of cinnamon
• 1 sprinkle of turmeric
• 1 cup of rice
3. Fry until fragrant then add 2 cups of water and over the pot
4. The rice should be cooked in about 10 to 15 minutes
5. Use a small spoon to scoop a few grains of rice to test the ‘done-ness’
6. Once ready, turn off the fire and let rice cool for about 5 minutes
7. Place the warm rice into a container to serve it shaped
8. Done!

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