Thursday, November 12, 2015

Slow Braised Country Style Ribs

Boneless country style ribs are browned and cooked down with a mirepoix of onion, carrot and celery and slow braised in a vinegar, stock and mustard cream sauce. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or cheesy grits.

Slow Braised Country Style Ribs

A lot of us prepare country style ribs by cooking them in the oven, or on a smoker or a grill with some kind of sauce, typically barbecue sauce, and I love them that way too, of course... but I'm here to tell you if you have never slow braised them like this, you must!

Country style ribs are not really a rib. They're more like a thick, meaty pork chop. They have no rib bones and come from the shoulder or blade end of the pork loin, and unlike those flavorless boneless pork chops, they have some fat to them, so that when prepared this way, the taste is more like a pork roast than ribs. The combination of a mirepoix and a low and slow braise really brings out the flavor.

If you've been around here for long, you already know that I am a bigger advocate of stovetop stewing and oven braising over appliances like slow cookers and pressure cookers. While those convenience appliances are definitely convenient, and yes - I own them and I use them occasionally like everybody else - the end results often just aren't quite the same to me most of the time.

For instance, I have had some pretty good roasts in a crockpot, but I've yet to find one to match my oven braised or stovetop pot roast in flavor, or texture. Could be completely psychological I guess, who knows, because I am one of those people who actually loves to cook, and my zen truly is in the process of hands-on slow cooking, especially on the top of the stove.

But... I confess. Though I still prefer this cut of pork slow braised in the oven, they can certainly be done much quicker using a pressure cooker and the flavor is pretty spot on, so I've included the instructions in the cook's notes for the way I prepare them.

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Recipe: Braised Country Style Pork Ribs

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 1 hour 45 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil, more or less, as needed, divided (I use olive oil)
  • 3 pounds country style pork ribs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or to taste, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, white wine, apple juice or cider
  • 2 tablespoons Creole or other spicy brown mustard
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven or large oven safe lidded skillet. Season ribs on both sides, with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and thyme; brown in hot oil, in batches, adding oil as needed. Remove and set aside.

Add additional oil to pan, if needed, and saute onion, carrot and celery for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Stir in vinegar and Creole mustard to deglaze pan; add chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Stir in cream, return meat to pot, cover and transfer to oven for about 1 hour and 30 to 45 minutes, or until meat is fork tender, removing cover the last half hour to brown meat and so sauce will thicken and reduce. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or cheesy grits.

Electronic Pressure Cooker: Prepare as above, browning meat and veggies. Transfer to pressure cooker. Whisk together the liquids, add bay leaves and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes, let release naturally. Carefully remove ribs and set aside. Bring sauce to a boil. Whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1 tablespoon milk and whisk into boiling sauce. Let cook for 2 minutes until nicely thickened; spoon over ribs.


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Posted by on November 12, 2015
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