17 (Thu) February 2011
Braised Pork Spare Ribs in Tomato-Red Wine Broth
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Korea-
with the Family … MtG
Initially, I’d categorized this as French, primarily because braising big pieces of pork in tomatoes and red wine seems like something the French would do. However, because the dish included such spices as cinnamon, allspice, and cloves, all of which suggest Central America, and because a Mexican hot sauce ultimately proved essential in the final presentation, it also seems Mexico. The recipe doesn’t indicate origin.
The recipe is from a recently acquired cookbook Meat: A Kitchen Education by James Peterson. But rather than discussing the finer points of sauces and seasonings and other issues pertaining to flavoring, the book focuses more on the methods of cooking meat -e.g., braising, roasting, grilling – i.e., which method is best for which cuts of meat – e.g., ranging from beef to venison to even foie gras. So far, it’s been a fun read, but we’ll have to see how good it is in practice.
Getting back to this evening’s dish, I knew I wasn’t going to like it because I don’t like any of the constituent spices, much less all of them combined. But the recipe was specifically for spare ribs, which I had on hand. In any event, I just wanted to give the method of braising a first try – here, stovetop braising in a dutch oven – to get a feel for it, to see how the meat texture would turn out, not so concerned with taste. After 2 hours, the ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender, but a bit dry in some places. As for the broth, I ended up adding a liberal amount of milk and sugar to soften it up a bit. MtG, who showed up later in the evening to sample my newest creation, had the idea of dousing it all in Tapatio hot sauce, which improved the situation considerably. At this point, the dish clearly tasted Mexican.