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Sticky Instant Pot Asian Ribs

Holy crap, I have been so busy cooking for other people that I have not even had time to cook at home, apart from a grilled cheese here and there. I have a few down days before plunging back into the fire next week so, in an effort to practice what I preach, it's time to get into my own kitchen. I have some interesting recipes that are not quite ready for prime time that will be coming soon, but, in the meantime, I am still going through some of my favourite crock pot recipes and adapting them to the Instant Pot since it is supposedly almost mid November and should be feeling like winter by now.

I know that most of you think of ribs as a summer BBQ dish but for me, it's always been more of a winter thing so I have started eyeballing the pork ribs at the butcher.

I used to either do them slow and low for hours and hours, wrapped in foil in a low oven or all day in the crockpot for days when I am going to be out too long for that. The problem with the crockpot is that, although convenient, the ribs ALWAYS overcooked so that instead of just barely falling off the bone, I often ended up with a heap of boneless rib meat on a platter by the time I tried to transfer them from the pot to the baking sheet. 

Thanks to the pressure cooker, I can grab ribs at the store on the way home from work and have them on the table in an hour, from start to finish. For these ribs, a family favourite, the ribs benefit from a bit of a marinade with the paste so when I can actually get my act together, I coat them in the paste in the morning and leave them in the fridge all day but even if you just let them sit for ten minutes before popping them in the pot, you are still going to end up with a tasty, sticky finished rib.

Sticky Instant Pot Asian Ribs

serves 3-4

4lbs pork side ribs

3 tbls brown sugar
2 tsp grated ginger or ginger paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup mirin
3/4 cup water
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbls ginger paste
2 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls ketchup
1 tbls smoky bbq sauce like Bullseye
1 tbls cornstarch

If your ribs are in long racks, cut them into smaller sections because it's easier to fit them in the pot that way. Make the paste and coat the top sides of the ribs. If you can, let them sit for an hour or even more but if you can't, they will still be tasty - as always, if you can let them marinade a bit, the flavour is always intensified.
Put a cup of water, about 1 tsp liquid smoke in the bottom of your pot, and then put in the trivet. Arrange your ribs by wrapping them around the inside of the pot, on top of the trivet, standing on their sides with the meaty side to the walls of the pot adding a second layer until you have got them all in there.

Lock the lid in, make sure the valve is closed and program them for about 20 minutes on HP. I like my ribs very soft so I usually do between 20 and 25 minutes although other people cook them for as little as 15 minutes but if you want them to fall off the bone, start with 20 minutes - you can always add a couple of minutes if they are not quite soft enough for you after the time is up. Basically 20 minutes will give you very soft ribs and 25 should be leave you with ribs that are literally falling off the bone. 

While the ribs are cooking, put all of the sauce ingredients, except for the cornstarch, into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it just barely simmer while the ribs are cooking.
Right before you are going to brush it on the ribs, add the cornstarch and let it simmer for another minute. Remove from the heat.

When the timer goes off for your ribs, preheat the broiler and let the pressure on the Instant Pot release naturally (NPR)When the pressure has released, carefully remove the ribs to a parchment or foil lined pan very carefully so they remain intact. Brush the ribs with the sauce and broil them until the sauce starts to brown and bubble up - between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on your broiler and the distance between the meat and the element. Just keep a close eye on them as they will burn quickly.

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