Braised Pork Spare Ribs, Balsamic BBQ, Watermelon & Smoked Apple Salad
Recipe by Jamie & Jeremy Paquin, Mia & Grace in Muskegon
1 ½ tablespoons sweet paprika
1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
1 ½ tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 ½ tablespoons black peppercorns
One 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
8 pounds pork spareribs, cut into 4-rib sections
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions cut into 1-inch dice
2 bay leaves
One bottle red wine
3 quarts chicken stock
1. Make the rub: In a medium skilled, toast the paprika over moderate heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scrape into a bowl. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, the peppercorns and cinnamon stick to the skillet and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the spices to a grinder and let cool, then grind to a powder. Stir the powder into the paprika with the salt.
2. Prepare the ribs: Sprinkle the spice rub all over the ribs; refrigerate overnight. Let the ribs return to room temperature.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a very large ovenproof pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add one-third of the ribs and cook over moderately high heat until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining rib sections, using 1 tablespoon butter per batch.
4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the pot. Add the onions and bay leaves, cover and cook over moderate heat, until starting to brown, 8 minutes. Add the wine and boil for 4 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Return the ribs to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise for 2 hours.
5. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid. Transfer the ribs to 2 large rimmed baking sheets.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the ribs liberally with balsamic BBQ sauce and bake about 6-8 minutes or until nicely glazed.
Balsamic BBQ Sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 12-ounce beer, lager style
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
½ cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 ½ tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons Tobasco sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium saucepan, add ¼ cup water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, keeping the sauce at a bare simmer.
3. Cook until thick, at least one hour, partially covered.
Watermelon & Smoked Apple Salad
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 seedless watermelon, ½ -inch dice (save rind for pickling)
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 shallots, finely diced
1 granny smith apple, smoked
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
1. Whisk together shallots, pepper, salt, tobacco, shallot, champagne vinegar.
2. Slowly add olive oil while whisking.
3. Fold in watermelon, smoked apple, feta and mint.
4. Check for seasoning, adjust with salt and pepper.