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Author Notes: : This is not a true porchetta but it does incorporate the flavors that would typically be associated with it; especially a generous amount of fennel. Country style ribs are not true ribs but rather large pieces of shoulder in long thing strips that resemble ribs. They make a very good braise. The final dish is great with a thick ribbed pasta such as rigatoni. It’s better still with polenta. The timer on your slow cooker should keep the braise warm while you are away. —pierino
- 2 pounds boneless country style pork ribs
- 1 sweet yellow onion
- 1 fennel bulb (fronds saved)
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries
- 1 branch rosemary, leaves stripped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fennel pollen
- kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock
- canola oil for browning meat
- 1) Cut the pork rib into large cubes about 1 inch each
- 2) Chop the onion and fennel into large pieces, about 1 inch each, reserving the fennel fronds until the very end of cooking.
- 3) Slice the celery and chop the fronds
- 4) Crush the juniper berries in a mortar
- 5) In a large skillet heat the oil until it begins to smoke. Brown the cubed pork in batches.
- 6) Transfer the pork to a slow cooker. Add the dry ingredients except for the fennel pollen.
- 7) Add the stock to the crock to not quite cover the meat. It should come about ¾ of the way to the top. Sprinkle on the fennel powder.
- 8) Set the timer for 6 hours. Take the afternoon off while the meat cooks.
- Sprinkle with celery leaves and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Hands-Off Recipe