I’ve been working on reducing the contents of our freezers. The winter weather Up North seems like a good time to thaw frozen meats and things for comfort foods. I was in the mood for potato salad, which I posted last week. Ribs were a natural accompaniment to the meal. I had a fruity, boozy sauce in mind. Pineapple and bourbon would coat and caramelize the ribs to perfection.I had country-style ribs, which come from the area between the shoulder and the chest. They’re like the pork version of beef brisket. They are usually boneless and cook well in either the oven or a crockpot. I was going to use the oven because I slept in and didn’t have 8 hours to cook them in the crockpot on low.
I heated a large nonstick skillet and seasoned the ribs on both sides with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. I placed them in the skillet and left them to sear.
When the ribs were browned on the first side I turned them over and browned the second side.
I threw a bunch of ingredients into a small saucepan and made my own barbecue sauce. I’ve made so many I was sure I could just wing it. It turned out pretty good!
I simmered the sauce for a few minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve. When the ribs were browned and placed in the Dutch oven I used a ladle to cover each rib with some sauce. I covered the Dutch oven and placed it into the oven that I’d preheated to 350°F. I set the timer for an hour.
At an hour I removed the pot from the oven and peeked inside. The ribs were looking and smelling wonderful. I ladled the remainder of the sauce onto the ribs, replaced the lid and slid it back into the oven. I set the timer for another hour. We were busy and I turned the oven off and left the ribs in the oven another 30 minutes.
I pulled the potato salad out of the fridge and served it with the ribs for dinner. Oh oh. What a nightmare of a mess. The ribs were so overdone they were rock hard and dry. We could barely chew them. In fact, we didn’t finish them and the next day I threw the whole batch out. I don’t know where I got the idea to cook them that long!
The next day I went to the store and bought a new package of ribs. I was determined to enjoy the sauce, which we had liked the few bites we actually ate of the ribs. I started all over using the same steps and recipe and slid the ribs into the oven for an hour. I added more sauce to the ribs and cooked them 30 more minutes. Just right.
The bourbon and the pineapple were strong flavors in the sauce. We loved the way they complimented the pork ribs. This time I made Parmesan roasted potatoes, steamed cauliflower and cucumber slices as sides. The meal was delicious. I had a little sauce leftover and used it on the leftover ribs to perk them up the next day for lunch.
Boozy Pineapple Pork Ribs
Pork Ribs braised with a bourbon pineapple sauce that fall apart in your mouth.
- 3 lbs boneless country-style pork ribs; cut into single pieces
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup brown sugar; packed
- 2 tablespoons red cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup bourbon (more or less to taste)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Salt and pepper both sides of ribs and sear in a heated skillet over medium high heat until browned and caramelized on both sides.
While the ribs sear, add rest of ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a bubble. Turn off heat and let set until ribs are done searing.
Place seared ribs in a Dutch oven and cover with half of the sauce. Place Dutch oven in the oven and set timer for one hour.
After an hour, ladle the remainder of the sauce over the ribs. Return Dutch oven to the oven and set timer for another 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove from the oven and serve.