The bottom line here is in that picture: if you like a slab of pork spareribs, one fragrant with spices, then this is the recipe to try.

From an article in The New York Times, Suzi and I were struck by the abundance of flavors employed in this rib recipe. As they braised away in huge pot, we had to turn on our overhead fan, for the entire house was filled with cumin and cinnamon scents. Not quite overpowering, but surely intense.

And the meat? Ah, those spices had penetrated deep into the meat, surely assisted by the combination of beer and orange juice! We did not garnish with the cilantro or pomegranate. We simply scooped our ribs onto thick noodles, covered with sauce, and enjoyed. When we reheated the leftovers the next day, a scoop of sour cream was all we needed to complement the spice heat that had emboldened overnight.

If you do have leftovers, think about shredding the meat and making sandwiches or, better, superior tacos.

Oh, yes. Braising. This style of cooking means that you do not plunge your meat into a pot of liquid but add just enough liquid to make the meat snugly hot. The evaporating liquid can help cook the meat by reaching the exposed top half, something that cannot happen if the meat is simply sunk at the bottom of the pan. You braise long and slow, a perfect technique for “tougher” cuts of meat.


Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs with Chipotle

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds bone-in or 2 ½ pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried ground chipotle peppers
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup to 1 cup beer of your choice
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Preparation:

Dry the ribs well, sprinkle all over with salt and allow to sit, refrigerated, for 1 to 2 ½  hours. Move oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, chipotle pepper, black pepper, cayenne and cinnamon, and mix well. Dry the ribs well again and rub this mixture onto one side and the edges of the ribs, pressing to make sure it adheres. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot until shimmering. In 2 batches, place the ribs in the pot, with the spice-rubbed side up, and brown the opposite side well, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove to a platter as browned.

Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they just start to brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more.

Move oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Return ribs to the pot and add the orange juice, lime juice and enough beer so that the liquid comes halfway up the sides of the ribs. Bring to a simmer, then cover, put in the oven, and cook until the ribs are very tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the ribs from the pan, cover loosely with foil, and set aside. Continue to reduce the liquid if it is too thin, then adjust seasoning.

Top each rib with several tablespoons of sauce, sprinkle with cilantro and pomegranate seeds, if using, and serve.


Source: The New York Times, Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/50th second at ISO‑200