The day of the big game calls for big, stick-to-your-ribs grub.
So we went with that as a theme, creating a recipe for boneless beef short ribs that are inspired by all the sweet and sticky goodness of Chinese-style pork ribs. To keep you in front of the television instead of the stove, we kept the recipe simple. Start by dumping everything in a bowl to marinate. When you're ready to cook, transfer it to a baking sheet and pop it in the oven. Done.
To make sure the ribs are meltingly tender, they cook low and slow while you watch the first half of the game. They should be good to go right around half-time. And if beef isn't your thing, the same approach will work with pork ribs and chicken wings (though you'll need to adjust the cooking time).
SWEET AND STICKY SLOW-COOKED SHORT RIBS
The servings indicated are for appetizer portions. If the friends gathered around the game are hearty eaters, or this is to be served as a main course, plan accordingly.
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (plus marinating)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 cloves minced garlic
3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into long, thin strips (1/4 inch thick by 1 inch wide)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the hoisin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, five-spice powder, sesame oil and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture in a small bowl. Add the short ribs to the original mixture and toss to thoroughly coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 275 F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil and place a rack over each pan.
Arrange the short ribs on the rack and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until tender. Brush the ribs with the reserved 1/2 cup of marinade and increase the oven temperature to 450 F. Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, or until browned and caramelized. Thread a skewer through each piece of meat to serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 270 calories; 130 calories from fat (48 per cent of total calories); 14 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 23 g protein; 650 mg sodium.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Alison Ladman is a recipe developer for the AP. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CrustAndCrumbCo