Rib of the Week: Aleppo Chili Pork Ribs with Peach and Lime
I’m starting to realize that we eat a lot of ribs at the Mouse House. (I see a “Rib-of-the-Week Feature” in my future…)
I’m OK with this for a few reasons. They’re easy to make. They taste great. They’re hearty and filling. And if you’re an unapologetic carnivore, it’s just downright fun to gnaw meat off a bone.
Aleppo Chili Pork Ribs with Peach and Lime: Ribs for dinner
If you tend to eat dinner on the later side, like we do, spare ribs make a satisfying and easy weeknight meal.
I can get home from the office, throw together a quick marinade, toss the ribs in the oven, and walk away from them to get some other stuff done. About an hour later, dinner’s ready—and the oven has done most of the work.
Aleppo Chili Pork Ribs with Peach and Lime: Mmm, sweet and savory
Like a lot of folks, I love the mouthwatering sweet/savory combination produced by cooking pork with fruit.
These ribs get their fruity sweetness from a healthy dose of peach jam. (Unlikely, I know. But have faith and read on.)
Fresh lime zest and juice balance out the sweetness and make the ribs just a tiny bit tart—but not pucker-y. They get a nice infusion of heat from a generous amount of Aleppo chili flakes.
The combination of the three flavors has a spicy jamminess to it that reminds me a little bit of red pepper jelly.
I make these ribs with my mom’s homemade peach jam, but you can use any brand jam you like. The fewer ingredients in the jam, the better. (I also like Hero brand peach preserves a lot.)
Serve these ribs with hot buttered white rice, a simple romaine salad, and some Beaujolais or cold beer.
Aleppo Chili Pork Ribs with Peach and Lime: A note on ingredients
This recipe calls for Turkish Aleppo chili flakes. These chili flakes have a medium level of heat, and are� slightly hotter than anchos. The flavor is a tiny bit fruity with a vague hint of something approaching cumin.
If you can’t find it, you can substitute any chili flakes (if they’re hotter, cut the quantity way down). You can also order some from Penzey’s spices. A 4-oz. bag is $5.45.
For mushroom soy sauce, I like Pearl River Bridge Mushroom Flavored Superior Dark Soy Sauce.
Very Asia sells it online for $3.99. It should be cheaper if you can find it locally at a larger grocer or Asian market. (I mention this because I’ve seen some places selling the same 500-mL. bottle online for almost $9.)
Aleppo Chili Pork Ribs with Peach and Lime
2 lbs. pork spare ribs
1/2 cup peach jam
1 lime, zest + juice
1 Tbls. Aleppo pepper flakes
1 Tbls. mushroom soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and set aside.
Aleppo Chili Pork Ribs with Peach and Lime: Make the marinade
Measure out the jam and add it to a medium-sized bowl.
(Mom’s jam is always so pretty.)
Zest the lime. Avoid as much of the bitter white pith beneath the skin as you can. Add the lime zest to the peach jam in the bowl.
Cut the zested lime in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the bowl.
Next, add the mushroom soy sauce to the bowl.
Toss in the Aleppo chili flakes and the garlic.
Mix the marinade with a fork or small whisk to combine well until it’s fairly even in consistency. It will be thick and kind of syrupy.
Taste it at this point and adjust the seasoning if you like. It should be sweet, hot, and tart. You’ll probably find that it doesn’t need salt, since there’s a fair amount in the soy.
Aleppo Chili Pork Ribs with Peach and Lime: Coat the ribs and bake
Add the marinade to a gallon-size zip-top bag. Toss the pork ribs in.
Seal the bag well and smoosh it around between your hands to coat the ribs with the marinade.
Lay the ribs out on your prepared pan.
Drizzle any leftover marinade over the ribs.
Heap the marinade down the middle of each rib. It will spread and melt over the edges of the meat to create a tangy, jammy crust as the ribs cook.
Pop them into your preheated oven. Cook for about an hour at 350 degrees.
Aleppo Chili Pork Ribs with Peach and Lime: When are they done?
They’re done when they’ve developed a sticky, caramelized crust and the meat comes away from the bone easily when pulled at with a fork. They should look about like this:
Aleppo Chili Pork Ribs with Peach and Lime: Serve and enjoy!