We received another package of pork country ribs in our farm share this month, and though I adored the pasta sauce that I made with the ribs last month, I wanted to try something a bit different, so I went in search of country rib recipes on the internet, and found a handful of promising recipes. The most promising was a recipe posted on epicurious.com, so I decided to give it a whirl, with a few alterations.
When you’re making any sauce, always taste as you go – the original recipe called for 1/4 cup of soy sauce – that’s a LOT of sodium, and really unnecessary. I wanted the orange and ginger flavors to shine here, and found that the recipe only needed 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy. Once you get it all in the oven, it’s a pretty simple meal – just takes a couple of hours to get to the finish line.
To serve, I prefer to pull the tender meat off the bone – I don’t like to poke around my plate at the table to discard the fat from the ribs. The ginger really mellowed out with the slow braise, so next time I might add a shot of fresh ginger at the end when the glaze is reducing. The finished dish was excellent – the pulled pork soaked up all the delicious orange flavor and was much tastier than any orangey pork dish you might order in a Chinese restaurant – and better for you.
Orange Braised Pork
1 1/2lb country-style pork ribs (4 ribs)
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
zest from one orange, reserved
1/4 cup cooking sherry
1 1/2 T soy sauce
3 T honey
2 T fresh grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 squirt siracha sauce
- Preheat oven to 325°F, and place 10×10 pyrex or small roasting pan in oven on middle rack.
- Bring orange juice, soy sauce, sherry, honey, ginger and garlic to a boil in a small saucepan pan over moderately high heat, stirring until honey has melted. Turn off heat, and set aside.
- Remove roasting pan from the oven and add ribs in 1 layer. Pour heated sauce over the ribs, and cover the roasting pan snugly with foil. Braise ribs in oven until very tender, about 2 hours.
- Turn oven off. Transfer ribs to a plate, and let the ribs cool a bit, until they are cool enough to handle. Pour the braising liquid into a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Make the glaze by boiling liquid, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes. When sauce is boiling, spoon off the fat that collects around the edges of the pan and discard. When the sauce has reduced to about 1 cup, pull the pork off the bones and shred, discarding any fat.
- Return the pork to the pan with the glaze and orange zest, and stir to coat the pork. When the meat has heated through, serve with brown rice and garnish with cilantro.