Monday, February 28, 2005



You might have imagined from some previous posts that I don't think much of American cuisine. You'd be wrong. American cuisine has some absolutely wonderful contributions to gastronomic delight. Top of the list, for me, is prime rib. Those who lack class might dismiss prime rib as 'roast beef'. That's rather like describing a sunset as orange light! It's accurate so far as it goes but it totally misses the nuances.

Second on the list are spare ribs. We're talking pork here; marinated overnight in subtle sauces then cooked slowly. If done right the flesh just melts away from the bones. My own preferred recipe (hark at the sight of an Aussie presuming to present a recipe for spare ribs!) is to take the ribs, score them lightly across the bone and marinate them in a mixture of honey, soy sauce and chopped green (spring) onions with just a trace of Worcestershire sauce and a light sprinkling of chili powder, overnight. Cook them in a hot oven (at least 425 F/ 220C) for about 20 minutes then turn the heat way way down - around 300F/150C and let em cook for another 3 hours. Pour more of the marinate over them as time passes. Then turn the oven off and let them cool. When they're cold refrigerate for a day in the sauce (but don't freeze em).

When it comes time to eat you heat them back to about 425F/220C for maybe 15 minutes and serve with a baked potato.

I can't bring myself to eat them the way they're usually eaten here. Everyone else just slices them into individual ribs and then picks them up in their fingers. I'm uncomfortable eating them that way; I use a knife and fork and never need to wipe my face or my fingers! Whenever I order ribs in a restaurant I always ask for a steak knife - I usually get puzzled looks but I can live with those!

I had ribs tonight for dinner. No, I didn't cook them and I felt the barbecue sauce was perhaps a trifle overdone but this is Texas and that's how they serve em. The ribs were still delicious. Andrew loves ribs but we don't have them very often back home; they're a trifle expensive. So I made sure, before I left home this arvo, to tell Andrew I'd be eating ribs for dinner. I also sent email back home to advise on the progress of my dinner :-)

I can be a bastard sometimes!

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