UPC’s Fig-Paste Slathered 8-Hour Ribs
I didn’t sleep well last night, and I don’t really know why. I’m not usually concerned with my sleep for two reasons:
1. I always sleep well. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always sleep long enough! But when I sleep, it’s always good, quality, restful sleep. I’m the “Asleep the moment my head hits the pillow” kind of person. And I like it that way!
2. When I don’t sleep well, I typically know exactly what the problem was, and what I need to do to remedy it. For me, since I always sleep well, I also have only a very limited number of reasons why my sleep might have been troubled. The usual suspects can line up here: Noisy neighbor, work stress, home stress, food issues (yes, out all night drinking definitely counts!).
So whenever I have a rough night, I always know exactly what the problem is. And it worries me when I don’t. Last night is one of few anomalies for me: a night where I’m entirely unsure what caused my poor sleep. I went to bed a little later than I would like, so I knew when I was getting to bed that waking up would be a little rough. But I don’t stress about that, since it’s too late to do anything about it by the time I get to bed. I might as well make the best of it and get as good a night as I can… But getting up this morning was significantly more challenging than I am used to. I was like a zombie. Which is ironic, since I did a Zombie Race on Saturday (which was awesome! I’ll tell all about it later this week).
Ok, enough about sleep. It’s time for me to talk about ribs!
Slow Cooked Ribs
I am particularly fond of Ribs when it comes to a slow-cooked meal. This is true of both pork and beef products, and I honestly don’t know if I can choose one over the other in terms of a favorite (price is, of course, an important consideration). Most of the leaner cuts of meat require an external source of moisture to be provided during the slow-cooking process. Typically this isn’t a problem, since that’s where all of the dish’s flavor comes from; but it’s a consideration that needs to be addressed nonetheless. Ribs, on the other hand (both pork and beef) have enough fat that just providing heat will allow them to moisturize themselves entirely during the cooking process. From my perspective, the more fat in a cut, the longer I should take to cook it! The trick with slow-cooking is matching the subtlty of a flavor with the cook time. Here is my general guide for flavor matching:
Short Slow-Cook Times (2-4 hours)
Use a bold flavor, provide extra liquid, cook at a higher temperature. Example: Crock-Pot Roasts; “Barbeque Ribs”
Medium Slow-Cook Times (4-12 hours)
Use a moderate flavor, use a fatty cut or provide extra liquid, cook at a medium-low heat. Example: Ribs, Shank Steak
Long Slow-Cook Times (10+ hours)
Use subtle flavors, any cuts, no extra liquid needed, cook at a low-heat with no direct heat contact to the meat cut. Example: Anything!
UPC’s Fig-Paste Slathered 8-Hour Ribs; What you’ll need:
- 2 lb Grass-Fed Ribs
- 2 cups Dried Figs (diced, boiled down in water)
- 1 inch sliced Ginger (sliced very thin)
- 1 inch sliced Ginger (not a repeat item…)
- 1 cup each Olive oil and Water to marinade
Cook time: 8+ Hours
Prep time: 1+ days (depending on how long you want to marinade)
Marinate the ribs:
1. Make the fig paste by finely dicing about 2 cups of dried figs, then boiling it in 1-2 cups of water on low heat until the water is all boiled away, and only the fig paste is remaining. There should be about 1 1/2 cups of fig paste remaining.
2. Put the ribs in a marinating container with the olive oil and water.
3. Add the first inch of sliced ginger to the water and olive oil.
4. Slather the fig paste over the ribs, using it up entirely, and covering the “up” side of the ribs entirely.
5. Put the ribs in the fridge to marinate for at least a day.
Cook the ribs:
1. Put the ribs in a slow-cooker, fig-paste side up, and turn on to “Low”.
2. Dump the marinade into the slow cooker with the ribs.
3. Carefully lay the slices of the second inch of ginger on top of the fig paste.
4. Cook for at least 8 hours. Now serve and enjoy!
- When you do a slow-cooked meal, which time-frame do you focus on? Short, medium, or long?
- If time, materials, and effort are not an issue, which time-frame would you prefer? Short, medium, or long?
- Do you ever have trouble sleeping?
- Do you ever not know why you had trouble sleeping?
- What do you do about it when you don’t know the issue?