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Thursday, May 5, 2011 06:08 am

Chile-glazed country ribs

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  • 8 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 6 guajillo chiles
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock or water
  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T. dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • 6 country-style ribs, about 3 lbs.
  • 6 radishes with green tops, for garnish

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Put the unpeeled garlic cloves on it and toast, turning them occasionally, until the skins are blackened in spots and the garlic is soft, 10–15 minutes. Alternatively, toss the garlic cloves with a teaspoon of vegetable oil, wrap tightly in foil, and roast in a 350° oven until softened 15-20 minutes. Peel the garlic and put in the container of an electric blender.

Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and tear them in half so that they lay flat. Put them on the griddle one at a time and press with a metal spatula for a few seconds until they crackle. Turn them over and press again for a few seconds. When they begin to change color they are done. Transfer them to a large bowl. When all are toasted, cover them with boiling water, place a plate on them to keep them submerged and soak for 30 minutes. Drain the chiles and place in the blender. Add the stock, vinegar herbs, spices, salt and honey and purée until smooth, scraping down occasionally and adding a little more stock or water if necessary. Taste and add more salt if desired.

Place the ribs in a large resealable plastic bag. Add half the chile mixture, close the bag, extruding as much air as possible, and squish around to coat the ribs thoroughly. Refrigerate several hours, preferably overnight. Refrigerate the remaining marinade separately.

Wash the radishes and cut a thin slice down 4 sides of each, leaving the root end intact. Place in a container of water large enough to hold them comfortably and refrigerate.

Let the ribs come to room temperature an hour or two before baking. Preheat the oven to 300°. Put the ribs with their marinade in a baking dish large enough to hold them in one layer. Drizzle ¼ c. water over them, cover with foil and bake for 2 – 2 ½ hrs. or until the ribs are fork tender, basting occasionally with the pan juices. Remove the ribs from the dish. Increase the oven temperature to 450°. Pour the fat from the dish and return the ribs to it. Brush with the remaining marinade and bake until glazed and slightly crusty, about 10 minutes. Remove the radishes from the water and dry on a dish towel. Serve the ribs on a platter, garnished with the radishes. Serves 4-6.

Adapted from a recipe by Rich Bayless in In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs

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