Food escapades in modernist cuisine

Thai Style Sous Vide Pork Ribs

Everyone's been freaking out with winter storm Nemo. Yesterday after work when we went to the supermarket to grab some supplies before the storm hit, the entire meat case was sold out at Super 88 in Brighton. The same was true for Shaw's, except there were a few packages of baby back pork ribs left. It was nothing like I've ever seen before. We were planning on cooking something else but the choice of pork ribs was made for us at that point.

On the Sous Vide Supreme blog, there's a recipe for thai style pork ribs and since we had most of the ingredients for the marinade on hand already in the pantry, we decided to give it a try. We first made the marinade by combining some hoisin sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, chopped garlic, and chopped lemongrass. We simmered this for a few minutes until the liquid reduced to a syrupy, thick glaze.

We let the glaze cool, reserved some for finishing the ribs, and then divided the rest between two ziploc bags with individually portioned ribs. After removing as much as air as possible using the water displacement method, we then placed the packages into the Sous Vide Supreme at 160 degrees for 18 hours.

After 18 hours, the pork ribs had cooked long enough to be pretty tender. I removed the ribs from the ziploc bags, placed them on top of an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, and with the reserved glaze I had saved from earlier I painted the ribs. Be careful when removing the ribs from the bag and handle with care - otherwise, the meat will fall off from the bone. If you didn't save enough glaze from before or skipped this step, you can also take the reserved liquids from the zip loc bags and reduce until thickened. You may need to add a thickening agent like some cornstarch.

We then proceeded to broil the ribs until the glaze caramelized and the ribs formed a nice dark color on them. Watch the ribs to make sure they don't burn. Also, feel free to add a few more coats of the glaze onto the ribs until you're satisfied with how the ribs look.

We served the pork ribs with a simple arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette. The pork ribs are pretty bold in flavor, so the arugula with lemon helps to lighten the overall dish and cut some of the richness. Overall, the ribs were pretty delicious, moist from the slow cooking and just falling away from the bone.


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