Looking for a great way to roast pork ribs in the oven? This easy one-pot recipe not only delivers the goods, but it's easy on the cook (and dishwasher) too, because the roasted vegetables are cooked in the same vessel. It's practically foolproof if you use a meat thermometer, which measures the core temperature of the meat while cooking.
Ask your butcher for a rib roast with the first six ribs from the shoulder. Those are the juiciest. This recipe is translated and adapted from the original Dutch in Het Perfecte Varken. It has been reprinted here with the publisher's permission.
- 1 4 lb./1.8 kg. pork rib roast (about, with at least six ribs, skin-on)
- Pinch salt
- Pinch black pepper (freshly milled)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil (or to taste)
- 8 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
- 6 sprigs of rosemary (finely chopped)
- 12 leaves sage (finely chopped)
- 1 Tbsp. lard (or butter)
- 7/8 cup white wine (7 fl oz/200 ml)
- 6 small shallots (or 3 large ones, cut in half lengthwise)
- 6 stalks celery (cut into 3-inch/8 cm pieces)
- 6 small carrots
- 6 small turnips (meiknolletjes, purple top white globe turnips)
Choose your meat from a reputable butcher that has pork ribs. Ask for a rib of pork (also known as rack of pork or carre de cotes) with six ribs (count on 1 rib per person) with the skin on. The meat near the loin is leaner, while the meat near the shoulder is fattier and more flavorful. Ask your butcher to cut away the meat between the ribs at the ends (this is known as frenching).
Prepare the rack of pork. Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking so that it can get back to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Using a sharp knife, score the skin and fat in a cross-hatch pattern. Rub the rib roast with salt, pepper, and oil, making sure you get into all those notches and cavities within each bone. Tuck a sliver of garlic and the chopped herbs into the cross-hatch cuts you've made.
Brown the rib roast. To do so, heat the lard (or butter) in a frying pan over medium heat until the fat foams. Brown the rack of pork on all sides, including the end-caps. Pour the white wine over the meat and add the shallots and celery. Put the meat in the roasting pan with the skin side up, and place in the oven. You may want to use a trivet/rack if your roasting pan has one. It ensures that the bottom of the rib roast cooks evenly.
Roast the rack of pork. Cook the meat in the oven for 25 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and allow to cook for a further 25 minutes. Now place the meat on top of the vegetables. If the vegetables look dry, add a little water to stop them from burning. Keep the meat moist by basting it with the cooking juices a few times during the remaining cooking time. The pork will be perfectly pink at a core temperature of 140 F (58 C). A meat thermometer is indispensable here.
Rest the rib roast and serve. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Cover it with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Place the meat on a cutting board, and serve one generous rib per person alongside the oven-roasted vegetables.
- The secret to good crackling is making sure that the skin is very dry before you cook it. A good way to help the rib roast dry out is to place it uncovered in the refrigerator. Scoring the skin allows the fat underneath to bubble up and crisp the skin from the inside out. Season the skin just before you put it in the oven. Doing so too early will attract moisture and make it impossible to get crispy crackling.
- To score the skin in a cross-hatch pattern, cut diagonally in one direction and then in the opposite direction with a sharp knife so that you create a diamond pattern (approximately ¼ to ½ inch/1 cm apart). Make sure that you cut only the rind and the fat and not the underlying flesh. Let your butcher do this if you’re too timid.
- Do not underestimate the importance of resting the meat. In a fit of ravenousness, we've all succumbed too quickly, only to end up with dry meat. Why? Allowing meat to rest helps to retain as much of the juice as possible. This is what makes the meat taste so good.
- This rib roast is also good with appelmoes (traditional Dutch applesauce) and rodekool (stewed red cabbage with apples)