Kitchen Witch - Touchdown! Year of the Rooster Ribs

Sun., Feb. 6, is a busy day. After several long months, the football season comes to a climactic denouement, with the ultimate testosterone showdown of the year, the Super Bowl. With all the drinking, chortling and caveman dancing that ensues, one works up a healthy appetite - for something along the lines of a brontosaurus burger, perhaps?

I tested the recipe below primarily for its (lack of) difficulty level, and am delighted to announce: ALL LUNKHEADS PLEASE REPORT TO THE KITCHEN. This one is so easy, it's perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. In addition to the ingredients below, you'll need a roasting pan and some foil.

Better still, with these soy-gingery ribs, you can nod to Asian New Year festivities, which will already be in full swing by kickoff time. This year, by the way, is the Year of the Rooster. Cock-a-doodle-doo!

Orange-Soy Braised Pork Ribs
?Adapted from January 2005 issue of Gourmet

4 pounds country-style pork ribs (I used a combination of baby back and

spare ribs with success)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups juice of 2-3 oranges or tangerines

1/2 cup soy sauce (try low sodium if you can)

1 1/2 tablespoons honey (or sugar if you don't have honey)

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

Approximately 3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.Season ribs on both sides with salt and place in a heavy rectangular roasting pan, in a single layer.Combine orange juice, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until honey is dissolved. Pour mixture over ribs, turning with tongs to coat well and making sure that meat is completely covered with sauce. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in oven. After one hour, check ribs and turn with tongs, resealing foil on top of pan. After two hours, check for doneness. Ribs should be tender, almost falling off the bone. If not, cook for another 30 minutes. Transfer ribs to a baking dish or platter and keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid and use as a glaze to brush on top of ribs just before serving.Can be made in advance and reheated at 200 degrees. Serves 4 to 6, as part of a larger meal. Think rice and sauteed Asian greens, such as bok choy or Chinese broccoli.

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