Sticky pork spare ribs

Oh my lordy be, these sticky pork spare ribs are good. I reckon you could also do it to a whole piece of pork belly or to American style ribs, even beef ribs and get a sensational result.

There is a two step cooking process so you’re probably not making this on a school night but don’t let me stop you. We had it a couple of nights ago and there were leftovers (unheard of) (they were DELICIOUS cold too) but I’m already hankering for them again. I’ll going to experiment with different cuts of meat so I’ll keep you posted.

Asian pork spare ribs for #everyfuckingnight. What's on your plate?
Asian pork spare ribs for #everyfuckingnight. What’s on your plate?

Sticky pork spare ribs
 
A spicy sticky recipe for Chinese pork spare ribs
Author:
Ingredients
  • 12 Chinese pork spare ribs (these seem to be slightly different everywhere I get them, but they strips generally without a bone in them but sometimes a little bit of bone in them. Isn't that helpful. I now just get them at the Asian butcher because I figure it's gotta be right from there.)
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 slices ginger
Marinade
  • 1 cup kecap manis (a thick sweet soy sauce, most supermarkets now stock it)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes (it sounds like a lot and the result is spicy but not mind-blowingly so, and that's on my palate which doesn't tolerate stupidly spicy food. Oscar also eats them and he is a no go zone for spicy food. Weird huh.)
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
Instructions
  1. Pop the pork, star anise and ginger into a saucepan and cover with cold water
  2. Bring it to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes
  3. While the pork is cooking make the marinade by mixing it all together
  4. Preheat your oven to 180C
  5. Line 1-2 baking trays with baking paper
  6. Drain the ribs and lie them flat on the trays
  7. Using a pastry brush liberally cover the pork in the marinade on both sides
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, turning half way and basting with any left over marinade when the mood takes you (sometimes I completely forget the basting and guess what, still delicious!)
  9. Serve with steamed greens and rice
  10. Eat until your arteries clog.

 

Onward!

Laab

In some very exciting news I have teamed up with Mrs Woog for a podcast we have ingeniously called Woog & Berry. Stay tuned, we should be going live in early December. Such a development!

The start of laab, a Thai pork mince salad, for #everyfuckingnight.
The start of laab, a Thai pork mince salad, for #everyfuckingnight.

In our first episode we talk about #everyfuckingnight and just how many things you can do with mince. Preferably we steer clear of 70s favourites of curried mince but embrace the rissole. I of course had to go all show pony and talk about this Thai mince, properly referred to as Laab.

It is an absolute snap to make and oddly enough all of my kids eat it. Granted I can not guarantee all of yours will but it is damn tasty and even if they have a bowl of cereal for dinner again you get something good down your gullet.

Laab
 
Pork mince tossed with fish sauce, lime juice, lots of herbs and chilli
Author:
Ingredients
  • 500g minced pork
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 1 French shallot/red shallot/eschalot/whatever you call it in your state or country, finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • half a bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 5 sprigs of mint, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp uncooked jasmine rice
  • chilli flakes to your personal preference
Instructions
  1. Heat a wok and add the uncooked rice. Toast until browned and then coarsley grind
  2. Sprinkle a tablespoon of the lime juice over the raw mince and set aside while you get everything else ready
  3. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients including the toasted rice, have a taste and balance out the flavours if needed
  4. In the wok fry off the mince with no oil and toss until cooked through and quite dry
  5. Combine the fish sauce mix with the mince and again, taste to check there's a nice balance between the fish sauce, lime and herbs
  6. Serve with rice or salad. (I quite like the idea of a Thai sang chow bow with it served in iceberg lettuce leaves.)

 

Onward.

Dongpo Pork

An easy recipe for dongpo pork, pork belly slowly cooked in soy, rice wine and ginger

I have a group of friends that range from school days, through university and up to Twitter who try to get together once every four to six weeks to have dumplings. We call ourselves the Twitter Lunch Club, TLC for short, which is appropriate because sometimes emergency dumpling summits are held if one of us is in crisis.

Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight
Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight

One of the dishes we have at our favourite dumpling establishment is this pork dish, served at room temperature which is covered in this thick, sweet, addictive sauce. I can’t recall what it’s called on the menu, we sit there and reel off dish numbers to minimise delay in getting food on the table.

But I’m here to tell you I have replicated it. I’m certain it will take me a couple more goes to perfect it but sweet LORD it is good.

As with basically everything I cook it is not technically hard but this one does take time. I actually did it over two days because I realised after I’d started I’d really left my run too late.

Dongpo pork, stage 1.
Dongpo pork, stage 1.

This recipe for dongo pork (best name ever) comes from my current favourite cookbook, Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School. He won Australian Masterchef a few years back and has done so much to make Asian cookery more accessible to those of us wary of the wok.

Dongpo pork, stage 2.
Dongpo pork, stage 2.

I bought my pork belly from an Asian butcher, their pork is always far superior to what you get at a skippy* one.

The glistening jewels of dongpo pork.
The glistening jewels of dongpo pork.

Dongpo Pork
 
Sweet, earthy fatty morsels of pork belly slow cooked in soy and ginger
Author:
Cuisine: Chinese
Ingredients
  • 1kg pork belly
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup dark soy
  • ½ cup Shaoxing win
  • 4 tbsp yellow rock sugar (or caster sugar, which is what I used)
  • 1 tbsp Chinese tea leaves, steeped in one cup of hot water (I had Jasmine so used that, Adam says its optional)
  • 5 cm piece of ginger, peeled, sliced and bruised
  • 4 thick spring onions, cut into 5cm lengths (I didn't have any so used an onion)
  • rice or steamed buns to serve
Instructions
  1. Place the pork in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Drain, rest until cool enough to handle and then cut into 7x5cm blocks
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or frypan and brown off the pork in batches (I did this in my Le Creuset)
  5. Bring the sauces, wine, sugar and tea to the boil (Adam uses a claypot but says a Dutch oven or good heavy based saucepan will work)
  6. Add the ginger and spring onions
  7. Add the pork (Adam said skin side down but mine would play fairly so I ended up just dumping it all in) and then top up with water until the pork is covered
  8. Bring to the boil then simmer for around 2 hours or until the pork is very tender (I would recommend here making sure the pork is always covered in enough liquid as some of mine dried out a bit)
  9. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside
  10. Turn the heat back up and reduce to a thick glaze
  11. Pour over the pork and eat immediately with steamed buns or rice

 

You must make it immediately!

Onward.

 

* Skippy, as in Skippy the kangaroo = anglo

The Chef and I – Ben O’Donoghue’s twice cooked pork belly with bbq sauce

A delicious recipe of twice cooked pork belly spare ribs with a bbq sauce that has bite.

This week I’m finally getting to write about when I met chef Ben O’Donoghue a few months back. It was actually a PR event and the first I’d done in more than a year. Technically we were there to talk about how effective Fairy dishwashing liquid and dishwasher tablets but it provided the perfect opportunity to eat sweet, spicy, sticky pork for breakfast. 

I’ve loved Ben’s cooking from a lifetime ago when he did a series in the UK called The Best. He, along with Paul Merrett and Silvana Franco, would each cook to a certain theme – the best sandwich, tasty fish suppers, cool salads – then their dishes would be presented to a group of punters who’d choose their favourite dish. They did an Australian version, which Ben was also in, but it didn’t have the same vibe as the UK one.

Anyway, I love his style of cooking and he’s about to open new digs in BrisVegas so if you’re up that way you’ll need to go and check it out.

Things I did differently:

  • Ben uses 100gm of horseradish in the sauce – I felt it was way too much so just used a heaped tablespoon
  • I have made the sauce and left out the horseradish and rum and it is still a very tasty sauce
  • Play with the amount of chilli flakes but it does mellow. My non-spicy eating children love it. I’ve settled on using 2 teaspoons.

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Twice cooked pork with bbq sauce

Adapted from Ben O’Dohoghue

The Chef and I - Ben O'Donoghue's twice cooked pork belly with bbq sauce
 
Succulent pork with a bbq sauce with bite
Author:
Ingredients
The pork
  • 1.2kg pork belly spare ribs (also called rashers)
  • enough coca cola to cover
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • 1 long green chilli
The BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup malt vinegar
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 50g creamed horseradish
  • 100ml rum
Instructions
For the pork's first cook
  1. Put the pork into a baking dish and pour enough coke over it to cover it
  2. Add the star anise and cinnamon stick and bake at 180C for about 1½ hours, turn it half way through
  3. Once it's cooked pull it out of the oven and leave it to cool slightly. You can leave it in the cooking liquid but then discard it once you move onto the next step.
For the bbq sauce
  1. Combine the sugar, vinegar, saucem cinnamon stick and chilli flakes in a saucepan
  2. Bring it to the boil and simmer into really quite thick
  3. Add the horseradish and rum and cook for another five minutes or so
For the pork's second cook
  1. Liberally smear the bbq sauce all over the pork
  2. Heat a chargrill pan or you can grill them in the oven
  3. Cook them long enough that the marinade is caramelised - some burnt pits are fine! - then turn them over and do the same.
  4. Serve with rice or even an Asian-style coleslaw
  5. You should have a bit of the bbq sauce left for next time or to smear on sandwiches

 

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Maple glazed ham

So seven years ago I saw a recipe from Matt Moran, the executive chef at Aria, for a glaze for your Christmas ham and I decided that was it, I was going to do a warm glazed leg of ham for Christmas. It was a first. That is shocking I know, but I do not recall ever having warm ham EVER before that date. Sure, there was ham served at family Christmas gatherings, but it was always cold and I never recall seeing a whole leg in any form of presentation whatsoever. True story. I know. Sometimes even I am surprised I can boil water coming from that culinary wasteland.

So I’ve now done a glazed ham every year. Normally our local butcher delivers the goods, but this year we went all out and got a kurobuta leg from the GOD OF BUTCHERY, Vic’s Meats. It was in a completely different league of SENSATIONAL.

Maple glazed leg of ham
Matthew Moran, Aria

  • 1 leg ham
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1x410g can of pineapple rings in natural syrup (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Gently coax skin off the leg, leaving the fat intact
  3. Score the fat into a diamond pattern and stab a clove into each corner
  4. Cook the ham for 45 minutes
  5. Mix the glaze ingredients together, place the pineapple rings on the ham and then pour the glaze over the ham
  6. Cook the ham for a further 45 minutes, basting occasionally
  7. Eat eat eat.