Dark Days Challenge Week 6: Pork Spare Ribs

Tonight I made pork spare ribs and baked potatoes for dinner and it was wonderful!

I’ve never made pork spare ribs before. But that’s the nice thing about eating locally and seaonally. You eat what’s available. And what was available, meat-wise, at the Monroe Market was pork spare ribs. On special. And I love a bargain. Even at the farmers market.

I’m no pork expert, but I’m learning. Spare ribs are different from ribs that you get at a BBQ joint. Those are baby back ribs. Spare ribs are from lower on the pig’s rib cage and on the belly side, near where bacon comes from, hence the higher fat content. Baby back ribs are from higher in the rib cage and on the back, as the name indicates. Both need very different cooking techniques. I wasn’t aware of this when I bought them, and I imagined your typical BBQ rib joint kinda meal when I bought them. But I “bing-ed” (as opposed to “googled”, not that I overate…) a recipe for spare ribs and found a handful that had ingredients that I had on hand sourced SOLE. We picked one by Michael Symon, and it was awesome. I, well, Jeremy and I, made them the same way we make beef short ribs, by searing them off first, then putting them in the oven for a couple hours on a slow braise. They were falling off the bone delicious.

I made them with a baked potato from Preston County and we called it done. The ribs were from Little Brown Cow Farm via the Monroe Farm Market. The ribs had a variety of spices on them with onions, which were from Spangler’s Greenhouse, also via the Monroe Farm Market, and the ONLY non-SOLE thing in them that wasn’t part of my exceptions were 2 Tb of tomato paste. I have some tomatoes canned, which I probably could have used in place of those, but it was just easier to open a can from my pantry that has been there who know’s how long. I don’t keep tomato paste stocked, but I must’ve bought it for something and not needed it a while back. It’s been there since at least last summer. The potatoes had Kroger-brand natural sour cream and Organic Valley Pasture butter on them.

I notice that several of the pork items are still on “special” on the Monroe Farm Market website, so who knows what I’ll order this month. I might learn a new dish–again.


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