Thursday, October 22, 2009

Braised Maple & Apple Glazed Pork Ribs & Potato Apple Mash with Crispy Fried Leeks

Apples in Appalachia...must be October!

Without a doubt October is my favorite month, set right in the middle of my favorite season, full of my favorite things...Fall color, ripe apples and fruits of every description. Wonderful for cooks like us and a feast for the senses.

This time of year our family usually carves out a day to drive up to Ellijay in the Georgia mountains and delight in all things 'appley' (my new Autumnal word!) We set sail up 575 and land in the 'apple barn' amongst those lovely Appalachians where we sniff bushels of offerings, swill down wonderful cider, load up on delicious apple breads and might even indulge in a fried apple pie or two. Then, it's back to Roswell with enough appley goodness to start our own farm stand!

So, in honor of our apple addictiveness I have created two super duper apple inspired recipes to share. A savory dish this week, and a scrummy dessert to follow .

This week it's a mouth watering dish with a long name:
'Braised pork ribs in Irish cider with maple apple glaze in a bed of potato apple mash, topped with crispy fried leeks'...phew. Don't worry though, it will be worth it. Just pop open a cool bottle of Octoberfest and give it a try. You'll be having fun in no time!

Enjoy the Fall y'all!

J the I F.

Braised pork ribs in Irish cider with maple apple glaze in a bed of potato apple mash, topped with crispy fried leeks

(Serves 4)

2 ½ Lbs pork loin back ribs or pork spareribs (cut in pieces)
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 fluid oz (¾ cup) Irish apple cider
4 fluid oz (½ cup) chicken stock

Maple apple glaze:

2 Tbsp chopped shallots
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup apple cider
½ cup white wine
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
¼ black pepper

Crispy fried leeks:

1 small leek (white root and part of green only)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
¼ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
1. Score the bone side of the ribs with a sharp knife. Season ribs with salt, pepper.
2. In a large skillet braise the ribs in oil on medium/high heat for 4 minutes on each side until a golden brown color. Remove ribs from pan and transfer to prepared baking pan.
3. Deglaze pan with apple cider and chicken stock. Cover tightly with foil piercing a few holes for evaporation and bake for 2 ½ hours.
4. While ribs are in the oven prepare maple apple glaze by placing butter in a small saucepan and sautéing shallots for 1 minute to soften, add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes or until liquid has been reduced by two thirds. Strain in to small bowl.
5. Remove ribs from liquid and transfer to a plate to cool.
Individually cut each rib with sharp knife. Place on baking sheet.
6. Wash leeks and then cut in half length wise. Cut in thin 2’ strips. Toss in cornstarch, flour and salt.

7. Heat oil in deep fat fryer or in skillet with 2’ vegetable oil and fry until crispy but still retaining green color.
8. Before serving slowly bake ribs to heat at 325 degrees.

9. Brush over warmed maple apple glaze.
10.Place apple potato mash in center of plate. Allow 4 ribs per person and garnish with a small handful of crispy friend leeks.

Apple Potato Mash

2 ½ Lbs potatoes (peeled and cut)
3 Granny smith apples (peeled, cored, sliced)
6 fluid oz (3/4 cup) water
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp white pepper
6 Tbsp butter
2 fluid oz (1/4 cup) heavy whipping cream
2 fluid oz (1/4 cup) chicken stock

1.Peel and quarter potatoes. Place them in a large pan and cover with enough cold water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20-22 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork.
2.While potatoes are cooking place apples and water in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes or until apples are soft. Discard any excess water and mash apples.
3. Cream potatoes by hand or beat in electric mixer. Add melted butter, chicken stock and cream a little at a time as the liquid amount can vary according. Fold in mashed apples.

*(if you want to print this recipe for your own use I suggest copying and pasting the text into Word, then printing. Don't try to print the blog as you will use up severl small pine trees in the attempt! )*



  1. Hi Judith! I'm back in Richhill for a week, so I'll try out your recipe, but I'll be using good Co Armagh bramley apples! I'll keep you up to date with how it goes.

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Feel free to leave me a comment on the food, or any other aspect of Irishness. Enjoy!