Baby back ribs and young collards braised in apple juice

  • Preparation Time10 mins
  • Cooking Time140 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy

For the baby back ribs

2 slabs (about 1.8kg) baby back ribs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 bunches young collard greens, washed and rib removed
1 onion, peeled and sliced, 1/2cm thick
1 head garlic, cut through the equator
1.9L apple juice
120ml apple cider vinegar
1/2 bunch thyme
Whipped sweet potatoes, recipe follows

For the whipped sweet potatoes

4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
475ml double cream
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 orange, zested
30g brown sugar
15g butter, unsalted
For the baby back ribs:

1) Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4.

2) Season pork ribs with plenty of salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed roasting pan over high heat and drizzle with oil. Sear ribs on both sides until golden brown for a few mins per side.

3) Pile both racks of ribs on 1 side of the roasting pan. On the other side, place collard greens, then onion and garlic on top. Pour in the apple juice and cider vinegar, add thyme, then cover with aluminium foil, place in the oven and braise for 1 hr 30 mins to 2 hrs.

4) When done, remove foil, baste the meat with the pan juices, then cook uncovered for a further 20 mins until the meat has a nice caramelisation and the liquid reduces, forming a sticky glaze on the meat. Place the collard greens and braising liquid on a serving platter and top with the ribs. Serve ribs over collard greens with braising liquid and pureed sweet potatoes.

For the whipped sweet potatoes:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

2) Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them in a roasting pan and roast for 45 mins until they are very soft. Remove the pan from the oven.

3) In a small sauce pot, over low heat, heat the cream with the bay leaves, then keep warm until ready to puree potatoes. Discard the bay leaves before adding to potatoes.

4) When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Season with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, and brown sugar. Add cream and butter and puree until super smooth.

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