Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Braised Pork Spare Ribs


Pork spare ribs is a very delicious cut of meat when braised until it turns fall-off-the-bone tender. There is just simply nothing better than the melt-in-your-mouth sensation of chewing into a mouthful of juicy and tender spare ribs (except maybe juicy and tender short ribs!). And the best thing is, it's really not that complicated to make.

Here's what you need:
Bone-in spare ribs - 1-1.5 lbs
Tomato paste - 2 tablespoons
Korean chili paste (gochujang) - 1 tablespoon
Red wine (Merlot) - 2 cups (or enough liquid to barely cover the spare ribs in your pot)
Mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots - rough dice) - 2 cups onions, 1 cup each celery & carrots
Bouquet garni - bay leaf, parsley stems and fresh thyme
Beef/veal stock - 2 cups
Coriander, Salt & pepper

First, clean the spare ribs by removing some of the fat (not all). Season with some oil, salt, pepper and coriander powder. Heat up a pot with 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and start searing the spare ribs until they turn slightly brown on all sides. Now, remove the ribs and set aside for now. Add the mirepoix vegetables and saute them for a minute or two. Then deglaze the pot with the stock, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove the delicious bits and pieces of the ribs that were left behind from the earlier searing. Put the seared spare ribs back into the pot, arranging them above the mirepoix. Add tomato paste, gochujang and the red wine, together with the bouquet garni. At this point, fill up the pot until it barely covers the ribs.

Now, you can just let the pot simmer, bubbling a little bit but not boiling. Cover the pot with a lid but not entirely. It should take about 2-3 hours of low simmering for the braise to complete. Check the ribs for tenderness after 90 minutes to 2 hours. When it turns fall-off-the-bone tender, it is done. Add some stock or water if the level of the liquid gets too low. Now, remove the ribs gently, careful not to have the meat fall apart on you as you transfer it to a plate. Strain the braising liquid to remove the mirepoix. Pour the braising liquid back into the pot and season with salt and pepper. If it is not of a saucy consistency, reduce the liquid by turning the heat back on. Check the final seasoning and you are done.

Nothing to it, right?

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