Brendan Collins is executive chef of Birch, Larry’s, and the Corner Door in Los Angeles and just published a spectacular volume of so-called “dude food” that’s so much more than burgers, bacon and beer. Prepare for large volumes of meat, simple and delicious vegetable preparations, and superb composed entrées, like these ribs with a quick and easy sweet-savory caramel glaze. 

Chinese five-spice powder is one of my all-time favorite seasonings, and I encourage you to get very friendly with it. It takes its name not from the number of ingredients, but the way this single spice mix hits on all five principal tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami). The flavor is warm and sweet, and I find that it acts like a bridge between salt and the heat of chiles, giving these ribs a really round, warm deliciousness. It’s a wonderful, versatile seasoning to add to pork, beef, or duck. Chinese five-spice powder also lends meat a handsome reddish tone — like that nice red bark that you get when you put meat in a smoker — which is a big improvement over the unappetizing gray tinge that ribs can take on when they’re cooked in the oven.

Reprinted with permission from Cooking, Blokes & Artichokes