Apple ‘n Cherry Ribs

RibsVerticalbfLOThis Monday Morning Mash-Up recipe is almost a Parfait! – seeing as how it’s stuff I’ve done before – BUT, I’ve tweaked things a bit; taking one part of one recipe and a bit of another, then tossing one pretty major ingredient in favor of something new. By my count, that makes three changes, and by the rules established by an old psycho-boss, that makes this a NEW recipe: Bone-in, country style pork ribs, braised in apple juice and aromatic veggies, then finished in the oven (or on the grill, if you’d prefer) with a sweet and spicy cherry barbecue sauce.

Ta Da!

It all began with a large packet o’ ribs the market had on sale. I knew I’d be making a batch of our new favorite Cherry Coke barbecue sauce for them, but wasn’t so sure about the dry rub and slow roasting pre-cook method. Braising seemed like a good solution, but not with cider vinegar – I didn’t want that vinegar bite. Fortunately, I had a bottle of apple juice and a leek in the bottom of the fridge that needed to be dealt with.

Apples ‘n cherries ‘n leeks ‘n pork? PERFECT!

•1 large packet country style ribs (mine were bone-in)
•Aromatic vegetables – I used a leek, some celery, carrots, onion, and garlic
•4-1/4 cup apple juice
•1 tsp salt

RibsSimmeringbfLOCherry Cola Barbecue Sauce:
•1 cup barbecue sauce
•1 can (12 oz) cherry cola
•1/4 cup cherry preserves
•1 tsp Colman’s mustard powder
•2 tsp Earl’s or other hot sauce

Preheat oven to 325º.

Place the ribs on top of your coarsely chopped veggies in a large, oven-safe pot and season with the salt.

SauceSimmeringbfLOAdd the apple juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pot and pop it in the oven for 90 minutes – the ribs will be fully cooked and wicked tender.

While the ribs are baking, make the sauce by stirring the barbecue sauce together with the soda, preserves, dry mustard and hot sauce in a medium sauce pan.

SauceReducedbfLOBring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then. When the sauce is thickened a bit and darker in color, it’s ready. Set aside to cool while the ribs finish in the oven.

Once the ribs are done, remove them from the pot and you’re good to go!

Finish them on the grill for ten or fifteen minutes, brushing with the sauce and turning occasionally to glaze.


RibsBakedbfLOBrush the ribs with the sauce and bake in a foil-lined pan at 350º for about 30 minutes, until you get some nicely caramelized bits.


BUT WAIT – don’t toss that braising liquid!


Strain out the veggies and skim the fat from the now pork-and-veggie-infused apple juice for some pretty darned wonderful stock.

In the past, when I braised the ribs in cider vinegar and water, I’ve used the stock as the base for a very nice Hot and Sour Soup. This apple juice based stock is, I think, going to be really nice as the cooking liquid for some basmati rice.

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