The Spice-Braised Pork Ribs have interesting spices, and are so tender that you will be able to eat them with a fork!
This recipe is from the Urban Tavern Restaurant in the Hilton Union Square, San Francisco, CA. Recipe appeared in an article by Noelle Carter in the Los Angeles Times newspaper, May 6, 2010. Photo by Glenn Koenig.
At the restaurant, these ribs are served over a large-grain type of couscous called fregola from Sardinia and seasonal vegetables.
- 2 racks pork spareribs (preferably St. Louis-style), silverskin removed*
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock**
- 2 cups beef broth**
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- 2 1/2 cups apples, diced (about 2 apples)
- 2 1/4 cups onion, diced (about 1 onion)
- 1 cup carrots, diced (about 2 carrots)
- 1 1/2 cups celery hearts, diced (from about 1 bunch)
Prepare Spice Rub. Using your hands, coat the rib racks generously on each side with the prepared Spice Rub. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight to season.
The next day, in a large saucepan over high heat, add the apple cider, chicken broth, beef broth, and bay leaves; bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside but keep hot.
Heat your oven to the broiler setting. Place the spice rubbed ribs on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the ribs until browned on each side, approximately 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the oven.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
In a large roasting pan, combine together the diced apples, diced onion, diced carrots, and diced celery hearts. Place the seared rib racks on top, pouring any drippings from the baking sheet over the ribs. Pour the hot broth/stock over the ribs. Cover the pan tightly (first with parchment paper, then a layer of plastic wrap, and finally with a layer of aluminum foil). NOTE: Create as tight a seal as possible.
Place the covered roasting pan in the oven and braise the ribs for approximately 3 hours. Ribs are done when they are tender enough to easily pull the meat from the bones and the internal temperature registers 180 to 200 degrees F. on your instant-read meat thermometer. Some people like their ribs cooked longer.
Remove from oven and let ribs cool completely. When cool, skim the fat from the pan and set the ribs aside.
Strain the braising liquid (we had about 1 quart) into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the sauce by half.
To reheat the ribs: Place the cool ribs in a roasting pan and pour the sauce over the top. Place the ribs in a preheated 325 degrees F. oven and heat until the ribs are warmed through before serving.
Makes 8 servings.
In a medium-size frying pan over medium heat, toast the fennel and coriander seeds until aromatic, approximately 2 minutes. Remove and heat and cool completely. Once cool, grind the fennel and coriander seeds to a fine powder using a spice mill or coffee grinder. Place the ground coriander and fennel into a small bowl. Add the ginger, nutmeg, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne powder to form a rubs.
You may not use all the rub for this recipe. Store rub in an airtight jar or re-sealable plastic bag in a cool, dark place for up to 4 to 6 weeks.
Makes a generous 1 cup rub.
* For St. Louis-style (or mock baby back) ribs, take a rack of spare ribs and trim the skirt meat along the underside of the rack. Then remove the rib tips at the joint before removing the silverskin from the underside of the rack and trimming the edges to clean. Alternatively, ask your butcher to prepare the rack for you.
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