Arrange the pork ribs on a rack in a single layer. Place a tray beneath the rack to catch the dripping. Broil the pork ribs for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour about eight cups of water in a pot. Add the whole onion, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to the boil.
After 15 to 20 minutes in the broiler, take out the pork ribs. With the liquid in the pot boiling profusely, drop the pork ribs one at a time. Season with salt. When the liquid is boiling once more, turn down the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer the pork for an hour to an hour and a half. Trust me, no scum will form on the broth.
When the pork is almost done, or about 20 minutes before cooking time is up, peel the carrots and potatoes and cut into wedges. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage. Without cutting off the core, cut the cabbage vertically into quarters.
Drop the vegetables into the pot, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste the broth, add more salt if necessary, simmer for another five minutes or until the vegetables are done.
Ladle the pork and vegetables into soup bowls and serve hot.
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