While brainstorming for new sauces to braise and glaze ribs in, I decided that massaman curry would be great to try. People often associate peanut sauces with Thai food, so a complex massaman sauce would work for people who know Thai well, but also Thai beginners who are just looking for a little peanut, lime, and chile in their meal. The sauce complimented the savory pork ribs well and is a unique rib flavor I recommend anyone to try.
Coconut Massaman Ribs
- 3 shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed
- 2 teaspoons cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 lemongrass stalks chopped hearts only, fiberous layers removed
- 1/4 cup cilantro stems
- 1 or 2 teaspoonss chile flake to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
ribs and sauce
- 1 rack of ribs
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 14 ounce cans coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 sticks cinnamon
- 10 cardamom pods
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Chill the cans of coconut milk for at least an hour ahead of starting this recipe
- Open the coconut milk and spoon out about 1/2 cup of the solids from the can and set aside.
- Put all the massaman paste ingredients in a mortar and pestle or food processor and smash or process it until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 325. Put the ribs into a baking dish and pour the fish sauce and remaining coconut milk over them. Also add in the cinnamon, cardamom, honey, and 1/2 cup of peanuts.
- In a frying pan, heat up the reserved coconut solids. Add in the massaman paste and saute for about 7 minutes. Add this mixture to the baking dish with the ribs and stir it well to combine. Spoon plenty of the mixture on the top of the ribs and pop them into the oven.
- Bake for about 3 and a half hours, flipping a few times during cooking, stirring occasionally, and adding water as needed if the sauce gets too thick and threatens to burn. Remove from the oven when they are tender enough that a fork can go in and move around pretty easily.
- Remove the ribs from the pan and remove any excess chunks from the actual ribs. Pour the pan sauce through a mesh strainer and set aside.
- Allow the ribs to rest 10 minutes. Pour on some of the strained pan sauce. Slice and arrange on a platter, and top with the chopped peanuts and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.