Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs
- 3 pounds bone-in country-style pork ribs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- Creamy Polenta, recipe follows
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Creamy Polenta:
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 1 1/3 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup coarse polenta, or corn grits
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Pat the ribs dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the ribs on all sides, working in batches if needed. Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium. Add the carrots, celery, onions and some salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, to remove the raw flavor, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, and 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 and the pork to brown.
Serve the ribs with Creamy Polenta, spooning the sauce on top, and garnishing with parsley.Creamy Polenta:
Spray the insert of a slow cooker with cooking spray (for easier clean up) and preheat on high.
In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup of the half-and-half, the milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter and the polenta. Season with salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly to keep the mixture lump-free. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring once or twice per hour.
Once you are ready to serve, open the slow cooker and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the remaining 1/3 cup half-and-half and the Parmesan. Salt and pepper conservatively since the polenta will be served with a robustly salted dish.
Recipes courtesy Melissa d'Arabian