I like the feel of a warm bowl of food. It’s comforting, just like a cup of hot tea or coffee.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Sometimes my favorite type of dinner “party” is a few friends on my sofas, in our sweats, with warm bowls of yummy food in our hands.
And for dessert, there might just be a big bowl (or two) of M & M’s. And to cap it all off, a really bad, yet very entertaining reality TV show in the background. Ah . . . perfect!And there you have it. Truth is, I haven’t has one of these evenings in years, and I really miss them!
I think I’ll make that a 2012 New Years Resolution. Yes I will . . . I’ll have sofa dinner parties with warm bowls of delicious comfort foods! In fact, let’s have one this weekend, shall we?
- olive oil for the pan
- 3 pounds baby back pork ribs
- 1 1/2 cups chunky applesauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, wahsed and dried
- salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Coat an oven-safe pot with olive oil -- a Le Creuset French Oven is perfect -- and place it over high heat. Cut the ribs into three sections, between every four or so ribs -- so they can fit into the pot. Sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper.
Once the pot is very hot, sear the ribs. You should hear a sizzling sound when they hit the pan. If you don't, wait! Sear each section of ribs on all sides until they are nicely browned. Use metal tongs to remove the ribs from the pot and place them on a plate. (You will likely need to do one or two sections at a time, depending on the size of your pot.)
Add the applesauce, ginger, and soy sauce -- and return all of the ribs. Gently stir to evenly combine the ribs with the other ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, and immediately place in the preheated oven.
Bake at 400°F for the first 30 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 300°F and cook until the meat is very tender, about 1-1/2 hours. The meat should easily pull off of the bones when it's ready.
Remove all of the meat from the bones and mix it into the sauce. Sason to taste with salt and pepper.
I like to serve these Braised Pork Ribs over rice, pasta, or crusty slice of bread.
I love adding a few fresh grilled apples to this dish -- especially in the fall and winter. To grill the apples, you can follow the same directions for my grilled pears.
Up to 4 days and at least 2 hours ahead: Sear and braise the ribs.
As with many braised dishes and stews, they often only get better the next day!