Ancho Ribs, Red Beans and Rice (4 June 2001)
This is delicious and a fairly easy meal to prepare, especially considering the recipe for Chichilo just above. The ribs are fashioned after a style of meat prepared in Veracruz.
1-1/4 pounds pork ribs, cut into individual ribs and smaller pieces (choose your favourite cut)
Kosher salt to taste
One-inch of water (it should almost cover the ribs)
Place the water into a large pot, salt the ribs to taste, and bring the water to a good rolling simmer. Add the ribs, cover, turn the heat down, and simmer for about 1 hour.
Check the water level. It has to go to zero water so you can crisp the ribs. Do so by uncovering the ribs to evaporate the last of the water and to render the fat, increasing the heat to begin browning, and turning frequently to brown evenly on all the rib pieces.
2 cups low-fat chicken stock
2 ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 small de arbol chiles, stems and seeds removed
In another pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer, turn the heat off and add the chiles. Let them get soft while the ribs are getting browned and crispy. When the chiles are softened, pour them and all the stock into a blender. Give the cooking pot a quick wipe with a paper towel for the next steps.
1 teaspoon olive oil
5 cloves Italian garlic, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in the dry pot. When it is hot, add the garlic, five spice and pepper, and sauté until the garlic begins to caramelize, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and when slightly cooled, add these ingredients to the blender.
Purée the chiles and spices to a smooth liquid. Add it immediately to the browned ribs [I hope you kept an eye on that part of this recipe.] and ensure the heat is on low. Stir it together well and simmer, covered, very slowly for 45 minutes to an hour – it is forgiving, but not if you burn the ribs.
Red Beans and Rice in a Casserole
1/4 pound small red beans
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 chipotle chile
Fresh-ground pepper to taste
Mix the dry ingredients in a pot that’s big enough and cover with water plus one inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer slowly for about 40 to 45 minutes, until partially cooked.
6 slices your favourite Canadian bacon, diced
1 teaspoon bacon grease
Preheat the oven to 350° F. In an oven proof Dutch oven, brown the bacon in the grease then add the following:
1 medium onion, diced
1 large clove Italian garlic, minced
Stir until the onions and garlic are transparent, then add:
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup long grain rice
Stir constantly to coat the rice with oil. Add the cooked beans and water to the rice mixture, stirring to mix well.
Cover the Dutch oven and place it into the oven. Bake, stirring once or twice, for 40 minutes until the rice is tender and the water is mostly absorbed.
Serve the two dishes with a peeled, sliced avocado and warm tortillas (other greens and dressing are very optional).