Recipes » Main Dish Recipes » Slow Braised Pork Rib Ragu

Slow Braised Pork Rib Ragu

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Slow braised pork ribs with aromatic vegetables served over hot, buttered grits.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Slow Braised Pork Rib Ragu - pork spareribs are slowly braised with aromatic vegetables and served over hot buttered grits. https://www.lanascooking.com/pork-rib-ragu/

Slow Braised Pork Rib Ragu – pork spareribs are slowly braised with aromatic vegetables and served over hot buttered grits.

Until just recently, it never crossed my mind that pork spareribs could be cooked any way other than barbecued. Really. Who ever heard of such?

Slow Braised Pork Rib Ragu - pork spareribs are slowly braised with aromatic vegetables and served over hot buttered grits. https://www.lanascooking.com/pork-rib-ragu/

Until…I ran across this recipe by Martha Stewart that used spareribs as the meat in a ragu. Wow. It didn’t take me long to get myself to the grocery store and back with some spareribs so I could see just exactly what this was all about.

Let me tell y’all something. This is one delicious sauce! It’s meaty and rich and just absolutely perfect in every way.

The original recipe calls for it to be served over polenta but, being the good southern girl that I am, I served ours over grits. Hot buttered grits with pork rib ragu sauce on top.

You just can’t imagine the deliciousness that is this recipe. You gotta give this a try for yourself.

Now don’t be intimated by the length of the recipe. I’ve made it very detailed for you but I could actually write this recipe in one little paragraph if I had to. It would go something like this:

“Brown some spareribs and add aromatic vegetables to the pot. Cover with water and cook until tender. Take the meat off the bone. Thicken the cooking liquid and add the meat back to the pot. Serve over hot buttered grits.”

See? Easy!

How to Make Slow Braised Pork Rib Ragu

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the Vegetables

Prepping and washing a leek.

Just in case you haven’t worked with leeks very much, you should know that they’re often very dirty. They may not look like it on the outside but there’s usually a good bit of dirt and mud between the layers.

Here’s how I clean them. Cut the leek lengthwise then crosswise into half moon shapes.

Put the cut leek in a medium bowl filled with cold water. Agitate the leek gently to help loosen any dirt. Let it sit for a few minutes. The dirt will settle to the bottom of the bowl and the leek will float in the water.

Skim the floating pieces of leek from the top of the water without disturbing the dirt on the bottom. Lay them on a couple of folded paper towels to drain.

Prepping carrots and celery.

Peel the carrots. Coarsely chop the carrots and celery.

Prepare and Brown the Pork Ribs

Browning pork ribs in a deep, heavy pot.

Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Cut the ribs into 2- or 3-rib pieces.

Place a large Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium heat and add the oil. Cook the ribs in batches until browned on all sides, about 5-6 minutes per batch.

Do not crowd the pan while browning. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate.

Cook the Vegetables

Add the leek, carrots, and celery to the fat remaining in the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften slightly – about 5 minutes.

Add aromatic vegetables to pot
Cooked vegetables in a Dutch oven.

Add the wine, bring it to a simmer and cook until reduced by about half.

Braise the Ribs

Ribs and water added to the Dutch oven.

Return the ribs to the pot and cover with water. This is as nearly covered as I could get mine without spilling over the top of the pot. It’s okay if they’re not completely submerged :-)

Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and place in the preheated oven. Cook until the meat is falling off the bones. It will take about 3 1/2 hours.

Separate the Meat from the Bones

Cooked ribs on a baking sheet.

Transfer the ribs to a rimmed baking sheet. Strain out and discard the vegetables. Transfer the cooking liquid into a heatproof bowl. Skim as much fat as possible from the liquid.

Shredded pork rib meat on a baking sheet.

When the ribs are cool enough to handle, shred the meat (discard fat and bones).

Alternately: You can stop here and refrigerate the strained cooking liquid and meat for several hours or overnight. The fat will rise to the top of the liquid making it easy to remove. You’ll also remove much more fat if you do it this way.

Cooking onions in the Dutch oven.

Back in the same cooking pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the flour. Gradually whisk in the cooking liquid. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a lively simmer and cook until thickened.

Pork rib meat added back to the Dutch oven.

Add the pork to the sauce and cook until heated through.

When ready to serve, make the grits.

Grits cooking in a saucepan.

Just a word about grits if you don’t mind. Please, please get a good regional brand of grits like Jim Dandy (my favorite) or Dixie Lily. I know there’s a big national brand that distributes grits, but they are far from desirable. And make sure they’re white corn grits, not yellow. They’re two totally different things. Really.

Bring the water and salt to a boil. With a whisk, slowly stir in the grits. Bring back to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until butter is melted.

Serve the ragu over a generous portion of buttered grits. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

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Slow Braised Pork Rib Ragu - pork spareribs are slowly braised with aromatic vegetables and served over hot buttered grits. https://www.lanascooking.com/pork-rib-ragu/

Pork Rib Ragu

Slow braised pork ribs with aromatic vegetables served over hot, buttered grits.
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 2825kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

For the ragu:

  • 1 large leek
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 ribs ribs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 pounds pork spareribs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the grits:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Garnish:

  • Chopped fresh parsley optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prep the vegetables. Cut the leek lengthwise then crosswise into half moon shapes. Put the cut leek in a medium bowl filled with water. Agitate the leek gently to loosen any dirt. Let it sit for a few minutes then remove the floating pieces of leek from the top of the water and lay them on a paper towel to drain. Peel the carrots. Coarsely chop the carrots and celery.
  • Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Cut the ribs into 2- or 3-rib pieces.
  • Place a large Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium heat and add the oil.
  • Cook the ribs in batches until browned on all sides, about 5-6 minutes per batch. Do not crowd the pan while browning. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate.
  • Add the leek, carrots, and celery to the fat remaining in the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften slightly – about 5 minutes. Add the wine, bring it to a simmer and cook until reduced by about half.
  • Return the ribs to the pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover tightly and place in the preheated oven. Cook until the meat is falling off the bones. It will take about 3 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer the ribs to a rimmed baking sheet. Discard the vegetables and strain the cooking liquid into a heatproof bowl. Skim as much fat as possible from the liquid.
  • When the ribs are cool enough to handle, shred meat (discard fat and bones).
  • Alternately: stop here and refrigerate the strained cooking liquid and meat for several hours or overnight. The fat will rise to the top of the liquid and can be easily removed.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour. Gradually whisk in the cooking liquid. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened. Add the pork to the sauce and cook until heated through.
  • When ready to serve, make the grits: Bring the water and salt to a boil. With a whisk, slowly stir in the grits. Bring back to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until butter is melted.
  • Serve the ragu over a generous portion of buttered grits. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 2825kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 135g | Fat: 235g | Saturated Fat: 97g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g | Monounsaturated Fat: 104g | Trans Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 669mg | Sodium: 1041mg | Potassium: 2074mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4095IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 13mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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