Ah, pork. It goes so well with so many thingsâ€”including fruit.
So, as I was eyeing the package of pork spare ribs in my fridge last night, I noticed I had leftover raspberry sauce from the Rustic Raspberry Vodka-tini I made the other night. It’s basically fresh raspberries, sugar, and a little liquor.
You can see where this is going.
I grabbed the raspberry sauce and whisked it together with some soy sauce, garlic, and gingerâ€”then painted it onto my ribs. I topped them off with lots of fresh thyme.
I was guessing that the sweetness from the fruit would be a good balance for the earthy saltiness of mushroom soy sauce.
Man, was it ever.
Basted three or four times during cooking, the ribs developed a beautiful dark reddish-brown crust. The meat was sweet and spicy and basically fell off the bone.
A note on ingredients
For the mushroom soy sauce, I like Pearl River Mushroom Flavored Soy. If you have an Asian grocer near you, it will likely be cheapest there.
This soy sauce is plenty salty, so I don’t add any additional salt to the marinade (and I like things fairly salty).
Ruby Lacquered Pork Ribs
2 1/4 lbs. pork spare ribs
1/2 cup raspberry sauce
1/3 cup mushroom soy sauce
2 tsp. garlic, mashed
2 tsp. powdered ginger
hot sauce to taste
leaves from about 8-9 fresh thyme sprigs
Serves about 2 as a main dish and about 4 as an appetizer.
Before you want to make these ribs, whip up a batch of this raspberry sauce. Make it a few hours ahead of time, or the night before.
(The raspberry sauce recipe makes more than you’ll need for your ribs. Shake yourself up a juicy cocktail or two with what’s left.)
The day of
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
Make the marinade
In a medium bowl, add the raspberry sauce, mushroom soy, garlic, ginger, and hot sauce. Whisk well to combine.
Prepare the ribs
Lay the ribs out on your baking sheet.
With a brush, paint each rib on all sides with the marinade. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. When they’re ready to go in the oven, they should look about like this:
Get the ribs in the oven
Put the pan of ribs in your preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours.
Every 20 minutes or so, pull the ribs out of the oven and baste them again with the marinade. You’ll put on about 4 coats during the cooking time, which will build up into a beautiful, thick crust.
Serve and enjoy
After about 1 1/2 hours, pull the pan out of the oven and test the ribs for doneness by pulling at the end of one rib with a fork. The meat should come away fairly easily.
(If it doesn’t, stick them back in the oven for another 10 minutes and try again. Your cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your ribs.)