1 rack spareribs, cut into ribs
1 large onion, cut into large dice
1 fennel bulb, cut into large dice
6 garlic cloves
2 cups dry white wine
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 bundle thyme
Pinch crushed red pepper
2 cups chicken stock
Herb Spaetzle, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs (parsley, chives, marjoram, oregano or dill are great)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Coat a Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Season the ribs with salt and brown in the hot oil. Remove from the pan and discard the excess oil.
While the ribs are browning, puree the onion, fennel and garlic in the food processor to a coarse paste. After the ribs are browned and pan has been purged of excess oil, add the pureed vegetables and brown.
Return the ribs to the pan and add the white wine, bay leaves, fennel seed, thyme and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce the wine by half. Add the chicken stock, cover and place in the preheated oven. Cook the ribs for 2 hours or until they are very soft and almost falling off the bone. Check the ribs periodically to make sure everything is moving along nicely and to make sure the liquid hasn't reduced too much.
Serve the spareribs over the Herb Spaetzle.
What a rib!
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over medium heat.
In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and milk until they are a homogeneous mixture.
In a large bowl, add flour and make a hole in the flour. Add a pinch of salt and using a fork, gradually combine the milk/egg mixture with the flour. Mix until they are just combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the herbs.
Place the batter in a colander over the boiling water. Using a rubber spatula or a spaetzle maker, push the batter through a colander into the boiling water. Boil the spaetzle for 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Drain the spaetzle and place in a medium bowl. Add some olive oil and the remaining 1/4 cup of herbs. Toss to coat evenly and serve immediately.