Last week I attempted two new cooking feats for our annual holiday meal with Shannon and John. They graciously donated six pounds of pork ribs from their stash for the occasion, and I found a promising recipe for oven-braised ribs.
I put the rub together the day before and coated the ribs with it. The combined ingredients gave off a delicious smell, and I have enough left over to save for grilling season.
The next day, I mixed the braising liquid and poured it into the foil packet the ribs had been resting in for twenty-four hours. Unfortunately the foil let out a lot of the liquid, and there wasn't very much to use for the sauce. Instead of reducing everything for ten minutes and then using the glaze to brush on the ribs, I mixed the cooking juices with the sauce ingredients and drizzled it over the ribs. The meat was incredibly tender and full of flavor from both the rub and the sauce.
I chose an unlikely accompaniment for the ribs - parmesan and gruyere gougeres. Gougeres are essentially a non-dessert version of a cream puff. The dough, choux pastry, is exactly the same, but gougeres are normally enhanced with cheese and other savory ingredients.
I was able to try one fresh out of the oven, and it was unbelievable, but they also reheated beautifully later that night and a few days later.
The twenty or so gougeres I made were about the size of a golf ball, but the same recipe can also be formed into eight to ten large rolls. These delicious little dough puffs taste amazing, and are impressive to serve to company, even when everyone is eating something as messy as oven-braised ribs.