Saturday, January 4, 2014

Braised Spareribs and Potatoes

Here's another slightly altered Biba Caggiano recipe that is so rustic, you'll feel like you should be herding sheep in the Italian Alps. This will definitely stick to your ribs! Serves 3-4

3 lbs pork spareribs, all excess fat removed
1/2 c finely chopped yellow onion
2 lb Idaho potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
3 TB finely minced fresh rosemary
2-3 TB finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1/2 c white wine
2 oz Cognac, divided (I use Decourtet, it's delicious and costs less than most)
2-3 c homemade chicken stock
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 TB EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the spareribs on both sides, adding the 3rd TB of olive oil if needed.

Remove the meat to a plate and add the onions. Stir and cook till soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the herbs and cook another minute. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add just 1 oz of the Cognac. Add the potatoes and cook them in the herbs and wine, stirring and tossing so they really absorb the flavors, about 5 minutes. Add the meat back into the pot.

Add enough stock to come up about halfway around the meat.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, partially cover, and cook about 1.5 hrs till the meat is nice and tender. Now taste for salt & pepper; you'll definitely need to add salt. Do you notice how all the flavors are there but it still seems a little bland? That's because now you need to add the last 1 oz of Cognac to wake up the sauce. Serve portions in soup plates with plenty of potato and cooking sauce.

Last but not least, a 'pastore' to get you in the mood. (Actually, he makes me want to travel more than cook, but it's the best I can do right now ;-).)

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