Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pork Spare Ribs braised in Maple Syrup

I mentioned in my last post that the weather here has been very hot and already, most of our meals have been cooked on the barbecue. Last week I bought some spare ribs to make this recipe, but when we woke to find the day quiet cool, I did a quick Google search for an alternative way to cook my ribs for dinner.

While searching for a recipe I became a little confused. I had it in my mind that I wanted to make something like an American barbecue sauce to braise the ribs in and yes, there are a lot of recipes for this type of thing. That wasn't the confusing part. I realised something, I hadn't realised before (talk about the dumb girl in the class)

Spare ribs aren't ribs!

Thanks Jamie! After about an hour on the computer, I found this Jamie Oliver recipe that I cooked below and a bit of information about 'ribs'.  At my local Australian butcher we call the cut I used 'spare ribs', my butcher also sometimes sells 'american ribs' - these really are ribs! Confused yet?

In Australia, we call this cut of meat 'spare ribs' and in American they call the same cut of meat 'country ribs'. That should help you with own your Google searches in the future.

I was intrigued by this recipe and to be honest wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. It turned out to be a hit. Declared, "the best meal you've ever cooked" by my daughter.

We served these ribs with mashed potatoes and steamed greens (asparagus, beans, zucchini and snow peas). I think this was the perfect accompaniment. The photo above was taken the next night, when the leftovers were turned into a meal, with fried rice, zucchini slice and 'help yourself' salad.

Pork Spare Ribs braised in Maple Syrup

serves 8

• 1.5kg pork spare ribs (cut in half)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 onions (finely diced)
• 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
• salt and pepper
• 120ml maple syrup
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 480ml chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish to medium-high and brown the ribs in two batches. Set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion begins to soften. Season to taste. Add the maple syrup and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the bubbles become slow and thick. Add the vinegar and cook for about 3 minutes, until well reduced. Add the chicken stock and ribs to the pan and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for a total of 2 hours. Cook for 1 hour, then turn the ribs. Cook for another 30 minutes, then remove the lid. Cook for a further 30 minutes until the ribs are tender and flake with a fork.

Jamie says to check the ribs regularly to make sure the pan has enough liquid, adding 50ml water at a time to keep the juices from running dry or burning. I didn't find that I needed to do this, I guess it depends on your oven.

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Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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