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Chef Bob: Braised Country Style Pork Ribs

Braised Country Style Pork Ribs

You don’t see country-style ribs often on restaurant menus. Well, at least I don’t. I’m not sure why, since they are a lot meatier than your traditional beef or pork ribs. Country-style ribs are cut from the sirloin or rib end of the pork loin. Since they’re perfect for those of us who want to use a knife and fork, I often use this cut for braising or cooking with Spanish-style rice. Today, I’ve decided to braise them with some onion, celery, and carrots. Deglazing the pot with apple cider vinegar results in a tangy sauce that’s great to sop up with some crusty bread.  Note, After browning the meat, you can also use a crock pot (assuming it will hold it all) to cook this also.  About 8 hours on high, or when everything is tender.

Braised Country-Style Pork Rib

3 pounds bone-in or boneless country-style pork ribs (I use boneless, more meat)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon coco powder (Hershey’s)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes; Optional

2 bay leaves

2 1/2 cups chicken stock or pork stock

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pat the ribs dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the ribs on all sides. Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook an additional 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar, then add the red pepper flakes and bay leaves.

Add the ribs back to the pan and add enough stock to reach halfway up the sides of the ribs. Bring the pan to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven. Braise until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. During the last half hour, uncover to allow the liquid to reduce.  Serve with mashed potatoes, noodles or a good pilaf.  Enjoy!

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