Country Pork Ribs Braised with Chilies and Citrus

I’ve had an obsession with rice lately. If this seems like a banal obsession I assure it is not as rice needs a glistening mound of grilled, stewed, or braised meat to go with. And, in my latest reveries some delicious, aromatic, savory heat to match it step for step.

It is generally said that what you do on New Years’ Eve (or is it New Years’ Day?) is indicative of what you’ll do the rest of the year. Or at very least, what you want to do the rest of the year….well I aim to be eating loads of Asian food. This year I will learn all I can, eat all I can, and hopefully, hopefully travel all I can. Dreaming of the next chili I hope to meet all the way.

For 2 very hungry people fill a large pot with 6 trimmed country pork ribs, 5 halved scallions, 5 large smashed cloves of garlic, one whole jalapeno or Serrano, halved, a few cloves, few sprigs of cilantro,  half a palm full of paprika,  and some good dark red ground chili/water to cover-bring to a boil- knock down to a simmer with lid ajar for about an hour and a half, or until ribs are nearly falling apart but still intact.

For Chili sauce-Puree roughly a 1/2 bunch scallions,  a big hand-full of cilantro, 1 large jalapeno, 2-3 Thai chili peppers,  4-5 cloves garlic, the zest of one lime + 1/2 the zest of a large orange, a healthy splash of peperoncini vinegar, and half the juices of both citrus together with a bit of sugar and salt. Adjust seasoning and set in fridge to chill.

For braising liquid-Puree 1/2 a bunch cilantro,  1 large jalapeno,  the zest of one lime and 1/2 an orange,  1/2 the juice from both,  a few cloves garlic, about a tablespoon of tomato paste, a good splash tamari, and sugar together/place pork in a casserole + douse with sauce/cover and braise in a hot oven for roughly a half hour, lid off another 15 until lightly sticky and caramelized.

Plate with sticky rice, pickled cucumbers, and Chili sauce.  Happy New Year!

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