Certain ingredients can get me so excited. Only recently I’ve been able to buy my beloved thick pork ribs.
I used to live in the south of the Netherlands very near the Belgian border. There we would buy these ribs for stewing. In the Netherlands there are several names for them, but apparently not all butchers agree on the cut. I wouldn’t even dare to come up with the English name for these. The ribs contain a fairly large bone and a thick layer of meat.
This Indonesian stew is one of my childhood favourites. I have no idea how it came into my family. It is made with lots of onion, ginger, galangal and a bit of chili spice.
Braised pork ribs Indonesian stle
- 1 kg thick pork ribs
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 3 Tbs fresh galangal, finely chopped
- 3 Tbs fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 red chili’s, sliced or chopped
- 2 chicken stock cubes, crumbled
- 3 salam leaves (Indonesian bay leaves) or bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil
Use a casserole pot with a lid, large enough for the ribs fit next to each other. Brown the ribs in batches in some of the oil. Give them a nice color, they don’t need to be fully cooked.
Remove the ribs, add extra oil and fry the onions until golden.
In the meantime clean and chop the ginger, galangal, garlic and chili.
Add to the onions and fry until fragrant.
You could use chili flakes instead of the fresh chili if you prefer.
Add the ribs back into the pot with the crumbled stock cubes and the salam leaves.
Add water so the ribs aren’t submerged. Bring to a boil and put the pot on the lowest heat. Cover with the lid and let it simmer for 3 hours.
I check the pot every 30 minutes to see wether nothing catches on the bottom and to turn the ribs once in a while. After an hour I put the lid slightly ajar so the sauce can calmly reduce. Be careful when turning those ribs, because the meat will eventually fall off the bone.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper if preferred. I feel the spices and stock cubes give plenty of flavour.
Serve with steamed rice and sweet and sour cucumber to cut the richness. It also works great with thick cut fries.