Amusement Pork

The boy has been clamoring for ribs lately, but we were foiled in our attempt to procure them for him last week. This week, however, found the goddess Costa smiling upon us, so today I took a mid-afternoon break to get a slab and a half cosy in the oven so they’d be falling-apart by the time the dinner bell sounded.

Based on the amount I had to do, I decided that firing up the smoker and tending the fire/mopping the meat was going to interrupt my work too much, so I opted for an oven-cooked version. This is a variant of the ribs I made at my cousin’s on Memorial day, where I started them in the oven and finished them on the grill. Here, I started them in the oven and finished them on the stove. Smoke-free, they were still pretty damn good.

To begin, I slathered the racks with gochujang and a blend of spices: 5-spice, cumin, powdered ginger, chile, smoked paprika, and salt. I wrapped them up in foil and put them into a 200˚ oven and forgot all about them until about half an hour before dinner. Then I ran outside to cut a salad and some garnishes–baby scallions and bolting cilantro–and then washed and spun them all. Brown rice was going in the cooker. I cut all the ribs apart (they were tender and cut easily) and drained their juices into the barbecue sauce du jour: gochujang, tomato paste, honey, blackcurrant vinegar, espresso, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil. This mixture went in the big pan along with the ribs on low heat. As the sauce reduced, it stuck to the ribs and coated them most handsomely in dark red velvety goodness. Once they were in danger of sticking, I tonged them out of the pan (swabbing up the thickened sauce) and into a nice serving dish, sprinkling them all over with the minced baby scallions and cilantro leaves.

This was great; apart from how thoroughly wonderful they tasted, it was refreshing to be able to take my eye off the ball and just let these go, swooping in at the end for a little bit of finishing. We had a lovely dinner out on the porch, drinking rosé and enjoying the breeze. I rarely cook for the blog, because then it starts to feel like a job, which I hate. This was me cooking entirely for us; I had to remember to grab the camera before we tucked in. It felt good.

4 comments to Amusement Pork

  • Susan

    How long did the ribs stay in the 200 degree oven? I ask because I have baby back ribs in the fridge right now, waiting for tomorrow’s dinner.

  • Peter

    3 hours at 200˚ should do it. Let them come to room temp and soak up the rub before you wrap and put them in.

  • Mo

    YUM!!!!! This looks amazing! Been missing following you while I’ve been without a computer. I finally made some Italian sausage and it was so yummy!!!

  • Susan

    Thank you! The ribs were delicious, enjoyed by all.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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