Monday, May 18, 2015

Country Ribs Braised in Beer

I'm always seeing country pork ribs at the grocery store. I have bought them before because they look so great but they're usually very dry. Nevertheless, I bought a two pound package and started looking for a recipe. Of course, that's probably not the best way to go because one doesn't always have the needed ingredients on hand. I had enough, though, to dare to try this brilliant recipe from Food Network.

Instead of amber ale, I used Heineken. I cut the recipe in half and substituted some garlic (because we love it) for 1/2 an onion. It calls for hot paprika but we're not hot people, so I used sweet paprika instead. Oh, and the recipe is for bone-in country ribs, and I had boneless country ribs. I suspect it's even better with the bone-in ribs, so if you have a choice, go for that.

At first blush, it seems like there are a lot of annoying steps. It's really not that complicated but Food Network's instructions are very precise, which is actually nice. The resulting sauce is so good I wanted to eat it with a spoon. There may have been some spoon licking that went on . . . ahem.

I'll give you the ingredients as I used them for half the recipe. We had plenty for three normal eaters or four light eaters.

Country Ribs Braised in Beer

2 pounds country ribs (bone-in if possible)
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika (hot or sweet)
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic (optional)
6 ounces amber ale (or Heineken)
6 ounces chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 425. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Pat ribs dry. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Brown the ribs 8 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile chop onion and mince garlic. Remove ribs from Dutch oven and add onions, along with 1/2 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of salt. Cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping up any meat bits. Add the garlic and stir so it doesn't burn. Pour in the beer and bring to a boil. Cook about 8 minutes, uncovered, until it is reduced by half. Add chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme. When the liquid simmers, return the meat to the pot and place in oven, uncovered. Cook 30 minutes, flip the meat and cook another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the honey with the apple cider vinegar. Add to the pot, stir, and return to the oven for another 15 - 20 minutes. Remove meat from pan and skim any fat off the liquid. Bring to a boil, and simmer until thickened. (Note: their instruction says 10-15 minutes but it happened much faster for me - more like 8 minutes.) Remove bay leaf. Return meat to pot to warm it. Serve ribs with sauce.

Sprinkle with salt and paprika.

Mine just fit in the Dutch oven!

Remove meat and cook onions.


Hot from the oven.

Amazingly good!

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