9.08.2013

Pork Party Resurrected: Starring Ribs

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This pork party happened in July. I thought I'd better get this post up before summer was officially over. We hadn't had a real pork party in a few years, the last few times, it's been combined with our beloved Couch Day celebrations. Inspired by an issue of Saveur magazine, the husband and I grilled up what seemed like 100 racks of ribs and asked our friends to bring the sides. Hence, the rebirth of the pork party.

There were two types of rubs - the husband cooked up Memphis-style ribs served with a honey mustard sauce, and I tried something new, Cambodian ribs. I really wanted my ribs to be better, but, it in the end, it was nice to have the variety and guests seemed to enjoy them both.

Along with ribs, we had braised pork tacos and I made a delicious lavender thyme vodka lemonade. It was so tasty and refreshing, I've made it a couple of times since then.

I took some photos before the guests arrived, and then, well, I was busy sweating near the three grills we had going.
 Prepping the flower centerpieces.
 Ribs ready for the marinade.
Lavender thyme simple syrup in the making.
The scene. Luckily, our friends took some photos, otherwise they would be no proof this party ever happened.
Rib ecstasy. 
Leftovers plate, the day after.
I don't recall there being watermelon.

Chrong Chomnei Jrok Oeng (Cambodian-Style Ginger Lemongrass Baby Backs) via Saveur
Serves 4-6 

2 racks (3 lb.) baby back ribs
⅓ packed brown sugar
⅓ cup fish sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. canola oil
14 cloves garlic, peeled (10 whole, 4 minced)
4 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1 (4″-piece) ginger, peeled and sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. lime juice
3 fresh red Thai chiles, sliced
½ carrot, julienned

1. Place ribs in a roasting pan. Purée brown sugar and 3 tbsp. fish sauce, plus soy sauce, oil, whole garlic cloves, lemongrass, shallots, ginger, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth; rub paste over ribs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Bring minced garlic and remaining fish sauce, plus granulated sugar, lime juice, and 1 cup water to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan. Remove sauce from heat and stir in chiles and carrots; let cool. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side. Grill ribs until slightly charred and tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the outside starts to burn before the ribs are fully cooked, move them to the cooler section of the grill and continue to cook until tender. Rest ribs 20 minutes; slice into individual ribs. Serve with sauce.

Vodka Lavender Thyme Lemonade via Saveur
Serves 4-6

¾ cup sugar
¼ cup dried lavender
1 bunch thyme
4 cups sparkling lemon soda
1 cup vodka
½ cup lemon juice
Thin-sliced lemon wheels, for garnish

Boil sugar and ¾ cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Add lavender and thyme; let herb syrup cool and then strain into a pitcher filled with ice. Stir in sparkling lemon soda, vodka, and lemon juice, garnish with sliced lemons.

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