When I laid the platter of honey-mustard baby back ribs on the table, Sam’s friend, David, says he tends to overeat when he’s in our house. Can there be a better compliment to the cook? I’d overeat too except that I’m still feeling full from the breakfast in bed that Sam prepared.
I personally prefer spare ribs over baby back ribs but when the latter has enough fat to keep the meat from getting dry during cooking, I’m happy enough to switch preferences. I cut the meat between the bones, seared the ribs in their own fat, poured in broth, then added spices and herbs. When the braising liquid had reduced, I poured in my honey-mustard sauce to which I added a splash of balsamic vinegar. After few minutes of hard boiling, the sauce thickened and the honey-mustard baby back ribs were ready for plating.
Honey-mustard Baby Back Ribs
- 1 rack pork baby back ribs about 1.2 kilos
- 3 cups bone broth (you may need more)
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
- 2 bird's eye chilies finely sliced
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- a splash of balsamic vinegar
- finely sliced scallions and chilies to garnish
Rinse the rack of ribs then pat dry with a kitchen towel. Cut between the bones.
In a heavy and wide non-stick pan, arrange the ribs in a single layer, fatty side down. Sear until the fat starts to melt and the underside is nicely browned. Give the ribs quarter turns to sear all sides.
Pour in the broth. Sprinkle in the rosemary, thyme, sage, onion flakes, chilies, salt and pepper. How much salt and pepper you need to add depends on how well-seasoned your bone broth is.
Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for half an hour. Turn the ribs over and simmer for another 20 minutes. By this time, the ribs should be cooked through and tender. But the actual cooking time depends on the age of the animal and the quality of the meat. If the ribs aren't done and there's too little liquid in the pan, pour in more bone broth, a quarter cup at a time, and continue simmering until the meat is tender. Scoop out the ribs and move to a plate.
Stir together the mustard, honey and balsamic vinegar. Pour into the pan. Swirl to blend. Boil, uncovered, for four to five minutes until thick. Turn the heat to low.
Put the ribs back on the pan. Simmer for a minute. Flip them over and simmer for another 30 seconds.
Arrange the ribs on a serving plate and pour the sauce over and around them. Garnish the honey-mustard baby back ribs with finely sliced scallions and more chilies.