Normally when I think of ribs, I think BBQ. Silly me though. Pork is one of the most widely eaten meats in the world, so WHY would ribs only be something eaten as BBQ, and only in the United States. The pigs in Italy tend to be very large and very flavorful, so they are most often cooked with a minimal amount of seasonings, which highlights their natural goodness and flavors.
I found this recipe for Tuscan style short ribs that I just had to try, and I am really glad I did too. The ribs were full of flavor and were so tender they literally just fell off the bone. I served them with wild rice and lentils, steamed vegetables and my stuffed brioche, Stuffing the Brioche with a red blend to complete the meal. It was very good comfort food that just seemed to hit the spot.
Italian Style Short Ribs
2-2 1/2 lbs short ribs
1 TBPS salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried sage or 1 TBSP fresh sage, chopped fine
1 1/2 TBSP fennel
1 TBSP dried rosemary or 2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 tsp paprika
3 TBSP olive oil
2 cups water
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
Coat the ribs with a light coating of olive oil.
Mix all the herbs and seasonings together to make a rub, then coat the ribs on both sides with the rub. Cover them and let them stand at room temperature for about 2 hours or you can refrigerate them overnight.
Once the ribs are ready to cook, spray a baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 300* F or about 160* C. Pour the water over the ribs and tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil. Slow cook the ribs for 1 1/2 hours.
After the slow cook, turn the oven to 375* F or 190*C and continue to cook the ribs uncovered for an additional 30 minutes or until the ribs are tender and the meat just pulls away from the bone.
Brush the ribs with the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook for about another 5-10 minutes. The ribs are now ready to eat. They are going to melt in your mouth with goodness.
When you are ready to eat these, top them with a little bit of their juice to really make their flavors pop and stand out. !Mangia!
You can also use this same rub for chicken or steak too. The cooking times will be different, but they key to the good flavors is in the timing. Let them marinate for a minimum of 2 hours before cooking for the flavors to really kick in and the meat to tenderize.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.