Monday, January 26, 2009

Roasted pork ribs

I braise meat all the time and have posted an example of it, so I decided to do a dry heat method. This is essentially very similar to my jerk ribs, but in the oven rather than digging my grill out of a snowbank.

When it comes to roasting, there are a couple basic rules. The first is to use something to hold the meat up off the bottom of the pan, preventing blackening but also keeping parts of the meat from boiling in the juices. This is often done with a rack, but the best method in my opinion is simply to lay the meat on a bed of veggies, for reasons that will become apparent at the end.

Second is that you generally want to do something like a 80/20 method, where the meat is covered and on low heat for 80% of the cook time, and uncovered, often on higher heat, for the other 20.

For this particular example, I used:

1 rack pork spareribs
Onion
Potato
Carrot
Beer
Spices etc

I made a basic meat rub with sage rosemary salt and pepper and decked the meat up nicely. Throw the veggies in the pan and carefully lay the meat on top. For slow cooking, my preferred temperature is about 300 degrees.
Cover and bake at 300 for about 2 hours. The trick with checking the meat while slow cooking is that it will appear to be overcooked (rubbery and dead looking) before it starts to break down and becomes properly roasted. Check by trying to pull a piece of meat off the rack with a fork; if it pulls away cleanly, you're ready for high heat.

Finish by raising heat to 450 and removing the lid. Keep an eye here; you just want browning, the meat should be more or less fully cooked by the time you start it on high heat. 15-30 minutes should do it.
Remove the meat and cover in foil to rest while you finish prep. Here is where the veggies shine. Put the roasting pan on the stove and deglaze with something (I used a bottle of stout).

Once the fond is dissolved and the liquid is at a good boil, either transfer the whole caboodle to a blender or use your stick blender to puree the veggies. Press through a fine strainer, and season to taste. This will result in a gravy unlike any roux-based contraption you've ever encountered.

I served it with some mashed potatoes and Lil's southern style greens (which turned out magnificently!) on the side.

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