Pork Short Ribs with Almond & Pepper Sauce

Pork ribs are one of the most underrated cuts of meat. I especially like pork short ribs as they have lots more meat on them and work brilliantly when slow cooked. I’m know not alone in loving meat that just falls off the bone – On every mouthful I declared to all who would listen “Look! it’s just falling off the bone!!”. This dish has a lovely, mellow flavour – nothing overpowering – just a delicious smooth taste. The almond meal creates a mild flavour but also thickens the sauce, finishing in a lovely rich and glossy appearance. Very tasty!

2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoons salt
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1kg thick pork short ribs (cut into 7-8 rib portions)
1 large onion (thinly sliced)
1 stick celery (sliced)
4 bay leaves
200g chopped tomatoes
400ml chicken stock

2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
1 lemon (zest of)
2 garlic cloves (very finely chopped)

In a pestle and mortar, grind together the peppercorns, salt, garlic, almond meal and paprika into a thick paste. Mix with the wine and set aside.

Preheat oven to 170ºC
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat and brown the ribs on all sides. Place the ribs in a heavy based roasting tin. Add the onions, celery and bay leaves to the frying pan and gently fry for 5 minutes until golden brown. Add the ground spice paste to the pan and stir well for about 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and stir well. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat and pour over the pork ribs. Cover the tin with foil and roast for 2 hours, turning occasionally. Remove the foil and cook for a further 30 minutes to reduce the sauce and brown the meat a little.

Meanwhile to make the garnish, mix together all the ingredients and set aside.

Arrange the pork ribs on a serving platter and spoon over some of the sauce. Sprinkle generously with the garnish and serve. I served mine simply with lashings of mashed potato and some green vegetables.

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