In this pork and apple stew recipe, pork ribs and diced Granny Smith apples are stewed with ginger sauce and Balsamic vinegar. But before the stewing begins, the pork ribs are first rubbed with lemon pepper seasoning and left to marinate overnight in the fridge.
The marinated ribs are tossed in flour and browned in butter. You may use oil (I don’t recommend olive oil though) but butter has far more flavor than oil so that was what I used to brown the ribs.
To the browned ribs, thinly sliced onions are stirred in and left to soften before the diced appled are added. You’ll need cooking apples for this dish — the kind that won’t liquefy during the hour-long cooking time. Granny Smith apples were used here (because they were what we had); Washington, Gala and Fuji apples will yield just as good results. Note, however, that if you use tart apples, you’ll need to add more sugar to the cooking liquid to balance the flavors.
The subtle heat of the stew is derived from two ingredients. The first is ginger juice and the second is chili flakes. Bottled ginger sauce was used here (check your Asian grocery) but, if you don’t have it, just use freshly grated ginger with the juice.
To give the stew a lovely citrusy and piney aroma, there’s rosemary. I used two sprigs which I stripped (the stems were discarded). If using dried rosemary, you may optionally soak the herb in a little oil for a few minutes to soften before using.
Balsamic vinegar gives the stew a beautiful flavor and deep color. You don’t need a lot. Two tablespoons are quite enough. Overdo it and the stew will turn an unattractive shade of brown.
We use Korean chili flakes for any dish that requires chili flakes. They are sweetish and the heat is quite mild. More than adding flavor to the stew, chili flakes also balances the brownish color of Balsamic vinegar and gives the dish a light reddish tint.
Pork and apple stew
- 800 grams pork baby back ribs - cut between the bones
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 onions - peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cooking apples - peeled and diced
- 2 sprigs rosemary - stripped and stems discarded
- 1 tablespoon ginger sauce - or one tablespoon grated ginger with the juice
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes
- salt - to taste
- sugar - to taste
- Dry the ribs with a kitchen towel then toss with lemon pepper seasoning. Place in a covered bowl and marinate overnight in the fridge.
- Dredge the ribs in flour and shake off the excess.
- Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and brown the floured ribs.
- Add the sliced onions, stir, and leave for a minute or so until the onion slices start to soften.
- Stir in the diced apples.
- Stir the ginger sauce in a cup of water and pour over the pork and apples.
- Sprinkle in the rosemary.
- Pour in the Balsamic vinegar.
- Sprinkle in the chili flakes.
- Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer the pork and apples until the meat is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.