My sister called to chat and after a bit she asked what I was cooking tonight. I said I didn’t know but that I was staring at about 5 lbs of baby-back pork ribs? At this point I told her that some days I have very definite ideas of what I feel like making and other days (like yesterday) I literally just grab ingredients and the dish sort of evolves as I cook.
At the moment she asked I decided that while on the phone I would walk around my kitchen (which took about 3 seconds!) and gather the things I would use.
I assembled shallots, garlic, a big can of plum tomatoes and grabbed the only fresh herb in the fridge, a sprig of rosemary – that was it. I was also having a glass of red wine so the bottle was sitting there too.
“OK,” June said, “what are you going to do?” In that moment I decided that I would take a very hands-off, lazy approach to dinner….”simmer the ribs in tomatoes and wine!” That is what I did and I was very happy with the outcome.
The sauce turned into a rich pungent liquid and the meat was tender and falling off the bone. This will definitely be made again, (when June comes to visit!)
You will need: 5 lbs baby-back pork ribs, cut into 2 or 3 ribs sections, 4 big shallots, roughly diced, 5 cloves garlic, sliced, 28oz tin Plum tomatoes with their juices, roughly chopped (I used San Marzano tomatoes), 1 cup red wine, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup water, 1 sprig of rosemary, left whole, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbs unsalted butter, coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning.
Preheat oven 375*
1 – Put big saute pan on high heat and add the oil. Season the meat with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and sear until brown in batches. Transfer to plate or big casserole dish (If your saute pan is big enough to hold the complete dish use it ).
2 – When meat is browned turn heat down to low/medium and saute garlic and shallots for 4 minutes.
3 – Add wine and bring to a slight bubble. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes before adding the stock, tomatoes and rosemary sprig.
4 – Return the meat to the pot (or pour the contents of the pan into a casserole pot or dutch oven with the meat). Give everything a stir and arrange the meat in even layers. Cover and place in oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. (If serving with rice or pasta, time it so as it is cooked when the ribs are ready)
When cooked, remove and let sit for 10 minutes before serving with rice, pasta, or a good quality bread (for sopping up the great sauce!).