From the Clif Family Kitchen
Recipe by Executive Chef John McConnell
Vietnamese Style Salt and Pepper Ribs with Clif Family Cinnamon Honey Spread
1 rack of baby back ribs (approximately 1.5 – 2lbs)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp shallots, minced
2 Tbsp ginger, minced or micro planed
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 2-inch pieces and smashed (use back of knife or meat tenderizer)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1-3 tsp chilies, minced (Thai bird, serrano, jalapeno or red chili flakes – add to whatever heat level you personally enjoy!)
4 Tbsp Clif Family Solar Grown™ Cinnamon Honey Spread
2-4 Tbsp HOT water, use just enough to melt honey and mix everything together to a loose paste
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 lime, cut in half to juice
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
Remove ribs from packaging and use paper towels to dry thoroughly. If membrane is still intact, use a paper towel to grip the membrane and pull to remove. Season ribs generously with salt and pepper.
Prepare a large sheet of foil and line the inside with parchment paper, place the seasoned ribs on the parchment and prepare the marinade. In a mixing bowl, combine ginger, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, black pepper, fish sauce, chilies (if desired), cinnamon honey, and hot water until the mixture is a loose paste (start with 2 tablespoons hot water and increase if needed). Allow the mixture to steep for about 10 minutes, then generously apply to both side of the rack of ribs. Be sure to keep any excess that falls from the ribs in the parchment paper.
Once the mixture is all over the ribs, seal the parchment-lined foil into a pouch, making sure to seal very well. At this point, the ribs can marinate for a couple of hours, or just go straight into the oven.
Cook at 300 degrees F for 3 hours. Remove ribs from oven and allow to cool for 15-30mins before opening the pouch. Remove the ribs from the pouch and carefully pour all of the excess liquid into a small saucepan. Over low heat, reduce the sauce by half. Add the rice vinegar and fresh lime juice to taste. Brush the ribs on both sides with the finished sauce.
Preheat grill to high heat.
(Clean and oiled grill grates will produce the best results for the next step!)
Place ribs meaty side up, onto the hot grill. Reapply more sauce over the top of the ribs. Reduce heat to medium, close lid for 5 mins. Apply more sauce and flip ribs to expose the meaty side to the flames. Continue cooking ribs until they appear to have a nicely browned exterior and are warmed through. Remove ribs from grill and brush again with sauce. Reserve any extra sauce to serve with the ribs and enjoy!