We don’t watch football, or any other sport really, but we (I) never pass an food opportunity. So every year on Superbowl Sunday, things come into the house that don’t normally visit, like onion dip (sour cream and powdered mix), potato chips (Ruffles, plain), and Mountain Dew (Chad’s favorite). And I also plan a “special occasion” meal based on the sales at the grocery store.

This year pork spare ribs were going for .99/pound at Stater Bros, so I made Roman-style Braised Ribs with Cabbage from Mark Bittman’s Best Recipes from Around the World. It was super easy, and it’s a great way to use all the cabbage that’s in season right now; my family will only tolerate so many casseroles of cabbage rolls before the winter is through. My husband who professes to like neither pork, nor ribs, was licking his chops the whole meal. (When he says a meal’s “not bad” it means something like an 8 out of 10. “Pretty good” is a 9, and “It’s aaaaallllright” is a 10 straight up. All three are pretty high marks. Tonight’s meal got a “not bad.”)

You will need:

3-4 pounds of pork spare ribs, cut into individual ribs (I also had the butcher cut them once lengthwise, so that they were shorter and more manageable)

olive oil for frying

lots of crushed garlic

a few dried chiles

shredded cabbage (I used one entire big head)

white wine

In a large, deep skillet, saute the garlic and chiles briefly before browning the meat. Brown it well. Remove the meat from the pan momentarily.

Saute all the cabbage in the same pan. Scrape up all the delicious brown bits. Add white wine and the bay leaves (2-3). The recipe called for one cup of white wine – but I used at least double that. And I just used a cheap 2-buck Chuck from the grocery store.

Put the meat back in the pan. Bring to a simmer and cover. Let it simmer for about an hour, or until the meat is tender enough to forkpull from the bone.

Serve over rice or with crusty bread.

Unlike Chad, I love both pork and ribs, so I was in pork rib heaven. I can’t wait until I’m hungry again tomorrow. (Would I like human ribs? I’m reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and I can’t help but wonder…)

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