Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spicy Spare Ribs with Cheesy Polenta

I went out shopping yesterday hoping to find some nice beef spare ribs to cook for our Saturday dinner and I came across this interesting cut which was thinly sliced instead of the normal rack of spare ribs. It was still a meaty cut so it got me thinking about what and how I could cook this.... a bit chinese style with soy sauce, shaoxing wine (rice wine) and coriander but I also wanted to make it more like a comfort food with lots of gravy and meat so tender you could just tear it apart.

So I combined a bit of both and came up with a tangy, sweet spicy spare ribs in a thick gravy over a bed of cheesy polenta. The slices of spare rib are slow cooked and the mixture of the wine, soy sauce, coriander, cayenne pepper, and tomatoes gives it a full flavour and you can never go wrong with cheesy polenta!

Spicy Spare Ribs

500 g beef spare ribs, thinly sliced         
1 medium onion, chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup shaoxing wine (or cooking sherry)
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, freshly grounded
1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly grounded
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup tomato puree
4 tomato, quartered 

1. In a saucepan, layer the spare rib slices and just cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and cover, simmer for 15 mins.
2. In a bowl, combine the wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, grated ginger, five spice powder, cayenne pepper, grounded coriander seeds and black pepper. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Pour the sauce over the ribs. Add the tomato puree, onions and garlic and stir. Continue to simmer for another 45 mins. You might have to add more water if the liquid has reduced too much. Add the tomatoes and simmer until the beef is tender and the gravy is rich and thick. Serve with the Cheesy Polenta.

  • If you wanted to use a rack of spare ribs or individual cut ribs, just double up the ingredients and follow the same method.

Cheesy Polenta
2 1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1. In a saucepan add the water and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Gradually pour the polenta and stir constantly so that there are no lumps. Continue stirring until the polenta thickens and add the parmesan cheese. Remove from the heat and stir the cheese in. Serve with the Spicy Spare Ribs.

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