Monday, January 28, 2008

pork and sugar

Guess what I made for dinner last night:

That would be a plate of oven-roasted pork ribs, glazed in a miso butterscotch sauce. The glaze was originally invented by Danielle, the inventive cook behind Habeas Brulee. I've been reading for a while now, and as much as I admire Danielle's acrobatic way with her dinner menu, I'm kind of a chicken. When I first started cooking for myself I tended to stray a little too often into the brambles of failure, with many an empty stomach and well-fed trash can to show for it. For a while now I've stuck pretty close to the path.

But this recipe just made sense to me. I love miso. I love butterscotch. I lurve ribs. And it worked out so, so well.

Miso Butterscotch Spareribs
by Habeas Brulee

I deviated a little bit from the original recipe. I wanted a chewy edge to the ribs, so rather than braise them as Danielle did, I coated them in a dry rub and roasted them for a three hours in a 325 F oven, a la the Biggles method and brushed the glaze on afterward. Worked like a charm. Still, for the sake of posterity (and because the weather is still wet and gray enough that a good braise isn't out of the picture) the recipe below is the original in its entirety.

for the ribs:
10 lbs pork spare ribs
Hard cider or other braising liquid

for the sauce:
3/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 C light corn syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/8 C red miso (or more to taste)

Preheat your oven to 300 F.

Place the ribs into a roasting pan. Add in some liquid, about 1/2″ or so, just to keep them moist. Cover tightly. Cook for about 3 hours or so, flipping the ribs and adding liquid if necessary every hour, until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

While that’s going on, make the sauce.

In a small saucepan, simmer the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and cream of tartar together until it reaches 240 F, then immediately stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. When it’s just about ready, nice and thick, stir in the miso.

Brush the sauce over the ribs once they’re done, and serve immediately.

P.S.: I have a little bit of sauce leftover and I'm willing to bet it'll be fantastico brushed on some baked tofu.


  1. Thank you for your kind words! Looks like a wonderful variation on the theme you created there.

  2. Danielle - thanks again for letting me post about your scrumptious recipe!