Whenever I go to the market for ribs, I like to get the whole portion in its entirety. It does require some extra work to clean and trim, but pays off in the end since it is more cost effective and I get to make a variety of meals from the cut. I also find it beneficial to continuously acquaint oneself with the meat and practice my butchering skills. For me, it is a way of being respectful to the ingredients by understanding them and appreciating the meals they yield. When I have an entire pork rib section, the main ribs are usually trimmed up for grilling (or roasting), and all the extra pieces are saved for later. This recipe is done using all those “spare” pieces. Most butchers sell these leftover trimmings at a good price, but the way I see it, why buy something if you’ve essentially already paid for it when you last had your butcher clean and trim that rack of ribs for you?
spare rib pieces
chicken (or vegetable) stock
1. If the rib pieces are wet, blot them dry with some paper towel. Season the meat with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
2. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large dutch oven (or sauté pan) over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the meat to the pot in a single layer, searing all sides until brown.
3. Add to the pan enough chicken stock to cover the ribs halfway up. Cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer until fork tender (about 45 minutes). Stir occasionally, checking liquid level. Add more stock if needed.
4. Chop the potatoes and carrots into large 1-inch pieces, add to the pot, cover and continue to simmer until vegetables are tender. Serve over steamed rice if desired.
5. Wasn’t that easy? Now go eat!
* When selecting a pan for braising, use one that is big enough for the meat to sit in a single layer without overcrowding, and has high enough sides to allow for moisture circulation when covered.
* The ingredient ratio is very loose; you get a different amount each time you trim a rack of ribs. If you are buying them already cut from the meat counter, feel free to adjust the meat-to-vegetable ratio as desired.
* Take it up a notch by adding various dried herbs.