Maltose & Malt Extract-Glazed Pork Ribs
Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 14, 2007
Maltose is a syrup (or powder) that can be made from wheat, rice, barley or other grains. I recommend the barley malt syrup in this rib recipe. The chemical structure varies slightly with which grain is used, but the end product will be similar. You can find maltose at any local homebrew shop or go online and do a search for a mail order homebrew shop. Homebrewers who brew malt extract batches sometimes like to use maltose to add body or “mouth feel” to their beer, something that might be lacking when making homebrew from malt extract and not from grain.
Even Amazon carries maltose made from rice, but it comes from China. After poisoning dog food and contaminating cheap toothpaste with anti-freeze, I’ll personally take a pass on the Chinese stuff. But I digress…
Maltose & Malt Extract-Glazed Pork Ribs
1 rack St. Louis-style or baby back ribs
1 cup of beer, preferably a dry beer such as a Japanese beer. I’m thinking Sapporo, but even a domestic ice beer will do. I know, this doesn’t follow the philosophy of using only craft beer, but you need the dryness here to balance the sweet maltose and malt extract sauce. Trust me…
2 teaspoons Szechwan peppercorns
4 quarter-size coins ginger root
6 to 8 cups unsalted chicken broth (enough to cover ribs)
Maltose & Malt Extract Sauce:
1 teaspoon corn or peanut oil 3 firm plum tomatoes, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
3 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked until soft, drained, then chopped coarsely
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
¼ cup of a dry beer
2 tablespoons packed dark malt extract powder or brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese chili sauce
¼ cup maltose
1/3 cup thin-sliced green and white scallion rings
1 tablespoon fine-minced garlic
1 tablespoon fine-minced ginger root plus diagonally sliced green and white scallion rings, for garnish
To make ribs: Peel the translucent skin from the backside of the ribs. Cut the rack between the ribs into 2 or 3 pieces and place in a nonreactive large pot where they fit snugly. Add the beer, peppercorns, ginger and enough broth to cover the ribs by 2 inches.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, partially covered, about 1 hour or until the ribs are very tender. Remove the ribs to a baking sheet and allow them to cool in a single layer. Discard the cooking liquid. Ribs can be cooked a day or two ahead, great if you don’t want to fuss too much with company on hand. Now I’m usually dead set against boiling ribs, but simmering them in this spicy mixtures adds a definite depth of taste to them.
To make sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the plum tomatoes and toss briskly 1 to 2 minutes, or until seared and browned in spots. Scrape the tomatoes and any juices into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and process until smooth.
In a nonreactive pan, combine the tomato mixture with all the remaining ingredients except the garnish. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the maltose dissolves. Let cool to room temperature.
Either throw them on the outdoor grill to finish them off or keep inside and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you’re going with the oven technique, place the ribs, curved side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and brush with about two-thirds of the sauce. Bake uncovered in the center of the oven about 15 minutes or until glazed. Personally, I throw them on the grill and cook them on indirect heat while basting them with the maltose glaze, just enough to get some carmelization on them.(Can be cooled at this point and refrigerated for up to a day. Let come to room temperature before finishing.)
About 30 minutes before serving (if necessary, preheat the oven again to 375 degrees), cut the rib racks lengthwise into individual ribs. Glaze the top and sides of each with the remaining sauce and put the ribs, curved side up and not touching on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until well glazed and hot. Serve at once heaped in a tangle and garnish with a thick sprinkle of ginger and scallion rings. Makes 4 servings.
You can also follow the general directions and instead, substitute the oriental theme with a homemade BBQ sauce or mop, just be sure to incorporate the maltose into the recipe. Lucy Saunders, author of Grilling With Beer, has a plethora of recipes for making mops and BBQ sauces. Find one in her book and adapt it to this recipe, if desired.