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Paul Gauguin
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Ginger-Braised Spareribs with
Cilantro-Scented Navy Beans



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Ginger-Scented Spareribs with
Cilantro-Scented Navy Beans

Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home
Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home

by Charlie Trotter, 2000, Ten Speed Press

serves 6

1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped leeks
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and chopped
1/3 cup peeled and sliced fresh ginger
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3 dried chipotle chiles
5 pounds spareribs
Salt and pepper
6 to 8 cups meat stock

Navy beans
2 cups navy beans, soaked overnight in water
4 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken stock
8 sprigs cilantro plus 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

To prepare the ribs:  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees [F]. Place a large roasting pan on the stovetop and cook the onions, celery, and carrot in the oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until caramelized. Add the leeks, red bell pepper, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add the molasses, sugar, peppercorns, and chiles and stir until combined. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and place on top of the vegetables. Add enough of the stock to cover the ribs and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone.
Meanwhile, prepare the beans:
  Drain the beans and place in a saucepan with the garlic and stock. Simmer over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 hours, adding water if necessary. Add the cilantro sprigs and cook for 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Remove the cilantro and garlic and discard. Season with salt and pepper.
To prepare the sauce:
  Remove the ribs from the liquid and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Remove the meat from the bones, shred into small pieces, place in a saucepan, and season with salt and pepper. Cook the reserved liquid in a saucepan over medium heat for 45 minutes, or until reduced to about 3 cups. Add 1/4 cup of the reduced liquid to the meat and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until warm.
Spoon some of the beans in the center of each plate and top with the shredded meat. Spoon the sauce over the meat and beans and around the plate and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro.

Insights:  This is a great, hearty winter dish. I call for spareribs here, but any type of ribs would work well.
Dried beans should always be soaked for at least 12 hours in cold water before using to ensure even cooking. Beans are best when cooked at a very slow simmer with water and a few tablespoons of butter, or, if you are avoiding fat, in chicken stock. The butter or stock will add a wonderful richness to the beans.

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