Melissa Elsmo

Proper cooking takes patience and this bold braised pork is the perfect ways to celebrate the cooking style of the season.  Slow cooking, known as braising, uses liquid to break down tough cuts of meat over low heat for long periods of time.  Braising country style pork ribs for hours in the oven is essential to pull out every last morsel of flavor from an inexpensive and humble cut of meat.  The resulting pork ribs, bathed in a seasonal mixture of cider, mustard and brown sugar, are fall-off-the-bone tender.  Accented with a duo of beans and smoked sausage, this robust meal is a Midwesterner’s autumn fantasy.

Cider Braised Country Style Ribs with Beans and Smoked Sausage

  • ¼ Cup Canola Oil
  • 8 Bone-in Country Style Pork Ribs
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2 Sweet onions, halved and sliced ¼” thick
  • 3 Celery stalks, chopped ¼” thick
  • 2 Large carrots, peeled and sliced ¼” thick
  • 4 Garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato paste
  • ¼ Cup flour
  • 2 Cups apple cider
  • 1 Cups chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ Cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 2 Rosemary Sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ Pound smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini bean, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ Cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Crusty Bread for serving

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven until nearly smoking.  Season the ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the ribs in two batches in the oil until deep golden brown on all sides.  Remove the meat to a plate to hold.  Don’t rush this step; browning all the meat should take about 40 minutes. I usually prep my vegetables while the meat is browning to ensure I give enough time to allow for proper browning.

After removing the pork to a plate add onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pot. Season with salt and allow the vegetables to sweat over medium-low heat for 10- 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften, but not brown. Increase the heat to high and add the tomato paste to the pot. Mix well and allow to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes to allow some of the sugars to caramelize. Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour to the pot; mix well and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the apple cider and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the canned tomatoes, cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and molasses. Nestle the browned ribs in the sauce and top with the rosemary sprigs and bay leaf. 

Place a piece of parchment directly on the surface of the meat mixture and seal the pot with a layer of foil and a tight fitting lid. Place the pot in the oven and allow the mixture to braise for 1 ½ hours.  Remove the lid, foil and parchment and add the beans and sausage to the pot. Replace the covers and continue to cook the pork in the oven for 1 hour.  (Pork can be cooled at this point and refrigerated overnight; reheat the covered stew in a low oven). Skim the fat from the pork and serve the warm ribs, sausage and beans in bowls garnished with parsley with crusty bread on the side.

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