I'm still cooking and writing from my uncle's wonderful lake house on Lake Toxaway in the mountains of North Carolina. Last night, the rain finally cleared and the sun came out for the first time all week just as my uncle pulled into the driveway for dinner.
Last night, I wanted to make this recipe for Soy-Braised Short Ribs from Bon Appetit that I've been eyeing for a while. So I headed down to the closest grocery store, Save-More (yep), which is 30 minutes down the windiest roads you've ever driven. I gathered all of the ingredients, including all of the substitutions I wanted to make, and then headed to the meat counter.
Not only did they not stock short ribs, but the butcher had no idea what I was talking about. Remembering how tender these Asian Baby Back Ribs that I developed for Mealthy turned out, I decided to take the Butchers advice and substitute pork ribs for the beef short ribs I'd originally planned on. Plus, I love slow-braised pork shoulder, so why should this be any different?
Well, the results were wonderful, the rib meat comes out tender and melt-in-your-mouth, and the pineapple relish cuts through the richness of the meat beautifully. These are trickier to eat than beef short ribs, but they are a much leaner meat, and the extra work is totally worth it.
If you have an electric pressure cooker like an InstantPot or a Mealthy MultiPot, check out my instructions for how to cook these ribs in your cooker at the end of the recipe below.
Soy-Braised Pork Ribs with Pineapple Relish
1 rack country-style pork ribs (or St. Louis Style Ribs), 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 red onion
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sriracha
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup thinly sliced pineapple
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
Cut your rack of ribs into 2-rib segments. Season with salt and pepper.
Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then work in batches to sear the ribs on both sides, adding more oil as needed. Transfer ribs to a holding plate.
Chop 3/4 of the red onion, thinly slice the remaining 1/4 into half moons and reserve.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot and reduce heat to medium. Cook the chopped onion and ginger for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
Stir in the water, soy sauce, orange zest and juice, vinegar, honey, sriracha, and garlic cloves, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck bits.
Add the ribs back into the liquid and cover with a lid.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, turning the ribs every 30 minutes.
While the ribs are cooking, toss the pineapple, red onion, and scallions together in a small bowl.
Transfer ribs to a platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Use an immersion blender to blend the juices until smooth. Raise heat to high to bring mixture to a boil, and cook until braising liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. The sauce will look like a thick barbecue sauce when it’s ready.
Drizzle about 1/4 cup of the thickened sauce over the ribs and serve the rest on the side. Spoon the pineapple relish over top. Enjoy immediately.
Using an electric pressure cooker like the InstantPot or MultiPot:
Use the Sauté function to sear your ribs and cook your onions and ginger. Pressure cook the ribs on High for 22 minutes, then allow the pot to naturally release the pressure. Remove the ribs to a platter and tent with foil. Turn the pot back to the Sauté function on High to reduce the sauce by half. Follow instructions above for the pineapple relish.