These luscious, extra-porky ribs are based on a recipe Michel Nischan's mother, a talented Southern cook, used to make. "Mom would stand in front of the grill, flipping the ribs and basting them with ham stock every few minutes until they got incredibly tender. It took forever, but it was so worth it," Nischan recalls. This version uses a broiler and a warm oven instead of a grill.
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8 pounds baby back ribs, membranes removed, cut into 4-rib sections
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 tablespoon minced tarragon
1 tablespoon minced thyme
1 1/2 cups Ham Hock Stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 pound Napa cabbage, finely shredded (4 cups)
2 large Granny Smith apples, julienned
How to Make It
Preheat the broiler. Peel the membrane from the underside of the ribs and place them, skinned side up, on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Broil the ribs 6 inches from the heat, turning once, until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes per sheet.
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest with 2 tablespoons of the parsley and the chives, tarragon and thyme. Brush the ribs with some of the Ham Hock Stock over the ribs and sprinkle with half of the herb mixture. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and bake for about 1 hour, without turning, until very tender; baste the ribs with the stock and sprinkle with the herb mixture several times while baking. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into individual ribs.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, apples and the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and toss to coat. Serve with the ribs.
The baked ribs can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat before serving.
These delectable ribs would be ideal with a fruity Norton, Missouri's most famous wine grape, because Norton has a firm acidity that pairs well with tangy foods. A good alternative is Argentine Malbec.
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