I love dishes that don’t require constant stirring and peeking and checking. Like this country style pork ribs with roast vegetables and gravy. Not exactly a one-pot dish but somewhere near. Brown the pork, braise in the oven, toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper, pop in the oven, and everything cooks at the same time. By the time the pork is tender and the vegetables are lightly crisp, the only thing left to be done is to strain the pork juices and thicken it with flour to make the gravy.
What are country style pork ribs? It is a pork cut that is commonly associated with barbecuing.
Cut from the blade end of the pork loin, next to the shoulder, these ribs contain a lot of fat, and may or may not contain bone. They are not the easiest eating type of rib for eating with the fingers because of the placement of the fat throughout the meat and the shape of the bone. But they are tasty.
I like the cut that includes some bone because the bone contains a lot of flavor which get transferred to the meat during cooking.
This recipe serves six (I set aside two portions that the girls will bring — frozen — to the condo for reheating during the week).
For the roasted vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan. Brown the pork ribs on both sides to sear. Note that if you’re not using a non-stick pan, you may have to use a little oil. Brown the pork in batches, if necessary. As each piece browns, transfer to a wide baking dish which can hold all the pork pieces in one layer. Add the celery, leeks and carrot. Pour in the broth. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake in a preheated 325F oven, at the center of the middle rack, for 45 minutes.
- When the pork has been in the oven for 30 minutes, prepare the roasted vegetables. Dice the potatoes, carrots and eggplants. Place in a bowl. Pour in the olive oil. Add the parsley, salt and pepper. Toss to coast each piece of vegetable with oil and to distribute the seasonings evenly. Spread on a pan (line it with baking paper to make sure that nothing sticks during cooking) in a single layer.
- Take the pork out of the oven and peel off the foil. Return the pork to the oven but position it on a lower rack. Place the tray with the vegetables on an upper rack. Turn up the heat to 350F and cook everything for 20 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are done.
- Lift the pork to a plate and keep warm. Tip the roasted vegetables to a bowl and keep warm.
- Strain the pork juices. If you have less than a cup, add more broth to make about two cups. Pour about a quarter cup into a small bowl. Heat the rest in a pan. Dissolve the flour in the broth in the bowl. Add to the pan, stirring. Add more salt or pepper, or both, if needed. When the mixture boils, turn down the heat to medium and boil gently for about five minutes to completely cook the flour (otherwise, the gravy will leave a powdery sensation in the mouth). Turn off the heat. Stir in the butter.
- To serve, place a piece of pork on a plate. Add the vegetables on one side. Drizzle with gravy.
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