Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs

Braising is an ingenious and simple way to make this cut of pork into something even more juicy and tender than you could possibly imagine.  It may take a long while to cook, but it is surprisingly quick and simple to prepare.  Slowly simmering over a low heat concentrates all the flavors into the meat and creates a sauce that will not disappoint. You can braise just about any type of meat, but this technique works wonders on the tougher (and cheaper!) cuts of meat. You know what that means? More food in the belly, and more money in the wallet!

So go ahead and snuggle up to a big bowl of slow-cooked pork. Serve it over a pile of steamed rice so you don’t miss out on any of the rich sauce. It is so satisfying; even though you must wait for it to cook, every minute will be worthwhile once you bite into every tender and savory morsel.

Serves 4-6
– 3 pounds country-style pork ribs
– salt and pepper
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1 onion, diced
– 1 green bell pepper, diced
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced
– 3 tablespoons flour
– 4 cups chicken stock
– 2 cans (14 oz) diced tomatoes
– 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves)
– 2 bay leaves
– fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
– steamed rice, for serving

1. Lay ribs in a single layer on a sheet pan. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Place the oil in a large dutch oven (or large, deep skillet) over a high heat. Once the oil is hot, sear the pork in batches until caramelized brown, about 3-5 minutes each side. Remove and set the pork aside on the sheet pan.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. Stir in the garlic, then sprinkle the flour into the pan and combine into a thick roux. Stir constantly for 2 minutes to cook the roux. Stir in the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
4. Add the seared pork, thyme, and bay leaves.  Cover and simmer for 90 minutes until the ribs are fork tender, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally to prevent sticking. Serve over steamed rice, topped with the parsley.
5. Wasn’t that easy? Now go eat!

* If the sauce reduces too much and thickens while braising, just add some more or water to the pan.

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