Saturday, September 7, 2013

St. Louis Style Ribs with Tamarind BBQ Sauce

While this is technically not part of my College Foodies Series, it could be, because I did everything on my stove top and in my oven.  These luscious ribs took me a little less than two hours to make, altogether, and the tangy flavor of Tamarind is out of this world!  I love tamarind.  It is a seedy,pod-like fruit found in many lush parts of the world, but my favorite is Mexican tamarind.  It is made into suckers and candy south of the border, and I fell in love with it on my trips to Tijuana and Ensenada, Mexico.  Amazing, versatile and full of strong, tangy heated sweet-and-sour flavor, tamarind can be made in to chutney, various sauces,  concentrated paste, as well as the candies I mentioned earlier.  I learned that one must never underestimate to power of tamarind paste!

Here is how I made this happen:

I started by making a paste, the base of my ribs marinade and barbeque sauce, both.  Here are the ingredients for both:

1/2 red onion, chopped 
4 cloves garlic, crushed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 2 teaspoons + 3 more tablespoons
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
2  tablespoons Tamarind paste
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
 2 teaspoons pasilla powder (or chipotle powder, or chioptle in adobo)
1 tablespoon Tamari sauce
1 tablespoon Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Pomegranate juice (not concentrated)
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard 
salt and pepper (pinch of each)

To a mini food processor, add the chopped onion, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and chili powder. Add the two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and a drizzle of Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar (about a teaspoon).  Pulse on low until the chunky onion and garlic have been ground, then finish for about thirty seconds pulsing on high until the mixture has thickened into a paste. 

To a medium-sized bowl, add the spicy paste.  Add the rest of the ingredients except the ketchup, pomegranate juice and tamarind paste and stir thoroughly until fully incorporated.  Place a quarter cup of the mixture into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat with the two teaspoons of evoo.  Add now that tamarind paste, pomegranate juice and ketchup.  Stir as the pan heats up, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer.  This is the barbeque sauce!

The sauce smells ridiculously good and reduces quickly on low heat.  

Remove your ribs and treat it however you need to.  I, for example, not having a great amount of space in my kitchen, had to cut the slab in half in order to fit it on the rack in my roasting pan.  In any event, I decided to steam the ribs, but I had wanted them to have flavor when I steamed them, so I slathered them on both sides with the remainder of the original paste, and allowed the slabs to marinate for about thirty minutes.  Afterwards, I placed them on a rack in my roasting pan, filled the bottom of the pan with about four cups of water, added garlic powder to the water, and covered the ribs with foil.  

Place the racked ribs in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour. 

After you have deemed the ribs to be done, which your nose will most likely tell you in about an hour, remove the ribs and slather them with the rich, tangy bbq sauce.  Remove the ribs and place them on a shallow lipped sheet (such as a baking sheet) lined with foil. Place the bbq sauce slathered ribs rib-bone side down.  Slather the top with some of the sauce, reserving the rest of the sauce.  

 After fifteen or so minutes, remove the baking sheet, turn the ribs meaty side down, and roast for another fifteen or twenty minutes.  Afterward, add quite a bit more of the sauce to the meaty top side of the ribs slabs, and place on the bottom rack under the broiler.  Do not have the rack above the center position, as the sauce splatter is really horrible.  Broil for five to eight minutes, until the dark sauce has turned into a thick glaze.  Do not let the sauce burn!  Remove the sheet or sheets from the oven, allow the meat to rest for about seven to ten minutes.  Remove one slab, place it on a cutting board designed to catch fluids, and using a cleaver, find the soft meat between the ribs and chop the ribs apart.  

 Using a cleaver to chop the ribs up is the fun part!

Now, serve with your favorite side dish or dishes, and enjoy!  Be sure to moisten a paper towel or two and have extras!  These ribs are tangy and sticky!  I served my ribs with my old fall-back oven roasted spice crusted potatoes.  I spiced them with coriander seeds I allowed to pop open as the oil in the pan heated up, cumin seeds, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, stone ground mustard, black pepper with a good pinch of lavendar salt to allow for a nice aroma that pairs well with the floral aroma of the tamarind sauce.  I also added a little parmesan cheese and stirred the potatoes to allow the cheese to melt and crust on to the potatoes.  Good flavors! 

FINALLY, Time to Eat!!!!!