Yes, the holidays are fast approaching. Although I still feel like I am in vacation mode and that has been a problem. By now (in years past) I am usually done with my Christmas shopping, have wrapped all my gifts, and headed to the post office to have it all shipped to our family back east. I am not near that point yet…and it is stressing me a bit. By last weekend I had finally gained some headway. The majority of our gifts have been purchased so I knew I was looking at a day of wrapping and bow tying. I cherish my days off to go out and about with Brian and our pups, but there was no time for that this weekend. I was on a mission. I decided that if we were to be camping in for the day a nice scrumptious meal was in order. I wanted to somewhat recreate a meal that Brian really enjoyed in London. He had a roasted pork belly, with charred onions over and apple puree. Fancy; I know. As he ate it he said to me, “I know this may sound bad, but this tastes like something from my childhood…only better!” Now I was not about to fuss like that for this meal. My goal was to stay in and get things done, along with a nice meal.
When I ran out to get coffee in the morning I picked up some pork spare ribs at the market. I asked the butcher to slice them all for me so I would not have a hassle when I got home. When I got home I tossed them all in blend of garlic, rosemary, and a bit of crushed red pepper - letting it all marinate in the refrigerator until dinner time came near. Laying it all out on a sheet pan with halves of Pink Lady Apples and roasted them all together for a little over and hour. It resulted in savory roasted Pork Ribs that were slightly caramelized. The apples were tender and deeply roasted as well resulting in a slightly sweet tartness that cut through the richness of the ribs. I kid you not when I tell you that Brian cleaned his plate. With meals like this camping in feels so good! Then I don't feel a bit behind with me holidays prep either.
Pork Spare Ribs with Apples (serves 3 – 4)
4 ½ pounds of Pork Spare Ribs (slices so that the ribs are separated)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp of fresh rosemary, minced
½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup of olive oil (plus more for brushing)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 – 6 apples (pink lady or granny smith) cored, halved and skin on
First, in a large bowl place the ¼ cup of olive oil. To it add the garlic, rosemary, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Stir it all together and toss it with your spare ribs. Cover it all with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate. (You want to marinate at least 6 hours. Overnight works for this as well.)
Second, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Brush youth apple halves with a bit of olive oil and place them on a sheet pan. Remove the marinating spare ribs from the refrigerator and toss again laying them out on the sheet pan amongst the apple halves. Place in the 325 degree oven and let roast for about one hour, to an hour and 20 minutes. Stirring it and rotating it half way through.
Finally, when the apples are tender & golden; and your ribs are rendered and caramelized you can remove from the oven and let cool about 10 minutes before plating and serving. Serve on its own or with some nice warm cornbread and an array of veggies.
**Note: This recipe makes great leftovers and can easily double to feed more.