I got the original version of this recipe from Everyday with Rachael Ray last summer (2009). This recipe is very tasty – and kinda healthy, too – apparently, braising the ribs reduces the fat content. I have tried this with rack ribs and country style and – as in tonight – beef ribs – all is good. The recipe calls for baby back, I just buy what’s on sale, or what looks good, or what we’re in the mood for. It’s all good.
I add to the bottom of the pot (this is where I diverge from the original – I like the flavor the ribs get from braising ‘em with veggies): roughly chopped celery tops, romaine hearts, onion, garlic and carrots – did you know that carrots are more nutritious AFTER cooking? I mean – I’m not about to eat THESE carrots, they’re just there for flavoring the meat – but, for future reference… er, anyway, where was I – oh yeah – I also add peppercorns, and bits of red, green or yellow peppers.
Preheat oven to 325º. In a good sized oven-proof pot, scatter the veggies and stand the ribs upright to form a circle (obviously – I don’t try to do this for country style). You may need to cut a notch or two in your ribs to get them to curve. If I can’t stand the ribs up
in my pot of choice – usually a big old heavy Le Crueset Dutch oven – I overlap them like this, (warning – raw meat shot) and flip them after 45 minutes in the oven.
Add vinegar, salt and 1 quart of water.
Bring to a boil over high heat; then cover the pot and transfer to the oven for about 90 minutes.
Finish the ribs on the grill or in the oven. They don’t really need to be cooked – just finished/charred a bit. Brush on your favorite sauce (mine is quite nice on ribs) and go to it.
A side note on the cooking liquid: I strain out & toss the veggies and stash the stock in the fridge overnight. Next morning, I skim off all the fat and have a nice little spiced stock for whatever I may need it for; I’ve used the stock from pork ribs to make hot and sour soup with fresh spinach and gyoza. Either the pork or beef would probably be good to cook greens. Go crazy!