The great thing about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and every year there are more varieties of fruits that previously were not widely available. The past years I tried all kinds of pluots and last year I had some mango nectarines which are very sweet, not a hint of tartness at all. This year very small round yellow and bright red plums started appearing at the farmer's market and a few groceries. I love that they are sweet, very juicy, and softer than the large black variety and therefore perfect for snacking. A container (almost 4 cups of fruits) at the farmer's market costs $5 which is cheaper than the grocery's. I'm not sure if these are European or Japanese variety, I was told they are called Myrobalan or cherry plums. I thought of using some of the plums with country ribs and searching for recipes online I found that most are Asian style using plum preserves and a lot of spices. The recipes did not appeal to me because I imagine the spices overpowering the delicate flavor of the plums so I created my own recipe using sweet plum wine and I seasoned the pork with very little garlic and ginger shoots. The dish is so delicious and the slight tartness of the fruits enhances the subtle garlic flavor of the country ribs. I will make this dish again maybe with pork chops or duck.
Country Ribs With Fresh Plums
3 pounds country-style ribs
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons finely minced ginger shoots or 1 tsp grated ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground Tellicherry black peppercorns
½ cup plum wine
½ cup fresh plum puree
2 cups whole plums (yellow or red)
- Combine sea salt, sugar, garlic, ginger, peppercorn, wine, and plum puree in a small bowl and mix until sugar and salt have dissolved. Put ribs in a gallon freezer bag, pour the marinade making sure ribs are evenly coated and leave in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Transfer the ribs and marinade on a baking dish and bake for 1 hour. Flip the ribs and bake another 1 hour.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour the cooking liquid into a skillet. Return the ribs to the oven and bake 30 minutes more or until ribs are golden brown. Add the plums to the sauce in the skillet and let cook uncovered over medium-low heat without stirring for 15 minutes. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning.
- Transfer the ribs on a serving dish, spoon the sauce and fruits on top. Good with either rice or crusty bread.