These barbecue ribs are dwarfed in my grandmother’s old enamel roasting pan. The pork in Asia is always so tempting, and as nature intends, “it’s the other red meat” — not, “the other white meat.” Rouge- and pink- fleshed porcine is a far cry from the cardboard dry white-fleshed pork sold in the West. Additionally, Asian butchers prefer mild sow over strong boar.
Here, accompanied with roasted fresh baby corn, and whole miniature cauliflower. In Asia, cabbage family vegetables are intrinsically sweet, so I’ve deducted that boiling enhances the natural sweetness of cauliflower, but roasting doesn’t. (Anyone think the same about Bruxelles sprouts?) Baby chat potatoes & peeled shallots buried beneath, plus baby corn. (And if you contend steaming is the healthy alternative, read Harold McGee’s “On Food & Cooking.”)
I made a quick barbecue sauce with tomato ketchup, sugo, Asian chili powder, fresh grated ginger and apple cider vinegar. Just combine, bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer until ready to use. And in a nod to Asia, I added a heaping tablespoon palm sugar instead of crystalized brown. Sugar both melds disparate flavors, as well as tames fiery chili. The problem is that sugar easily burns and chars. So the remedy here is initially coat the sauce lightly — not heavily — onto the meat, then bake in a covered saucepan at low to moderate heat, allow internal steam to tenderize this tough cut. For final 30 minutes cooking, remove lid, baste heavily, and increase heat to high. When done the meat should easily pull away from the bones. Total cooking time 1.5-2 hours.