We Hungarians love pork however it’s prepared. It works like a blank canvas that compels you to unleash your creativity. The number of preparation methods are infinite: pork can be braised, roasted, fried, grilled or smoked, indoor or outdoor. Spare ribs, which are the cheaper cut of pork, are always a treat, they require low, slow cooking time to become nice and tender. The ribs take well to spice rubs and marinades.
If I make roast, I usually prefer to use oven bag because the bag traps in moisture and natural juices to keep food from drying out, so it comes out juicy and tender every time. Another (not trivial) advantage of cooking with an oven bag is that you can forget scrubbing since there’s no messy pan.
Parsley potatoes are a favorite side dish in Hungary. Potatoes are first boiled with their skin on, then stir-fried in butter. But if you use new potatoes, you have to depart from the instructions written below. Just rinse and slice the new potatoes, then put them with the butter in a sauté pan and braise covered until tender. When potatoes are soft, uncover, sprinkle finely chopped parsley over them and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
- 1 kg (~2 1/4 lb) pork ribs
- 1 head of garlic
- 150 ml (~2/3 cup) oil
- 2-3 tsp marjoram
- salt and pepper to taste
For the side dish:
- 1 kg (~2 1/4 lb) potatoes
- 80 g (~5 1/2 tbsp) butter
- a big bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 2-3 tsp salt
Peel and crush the garlic cloves, and mix with the oil. Spread the garlic oil onto the pork ribs evenly. Salt and pepper, sprinkle with marjoram. Place the ribs in an oven bag and close it using the nylon tie provided. Slide the roasting pan into the oven and roast for about 1,5 hours at 180°C / 356°F, then increase the temperature to 200°C / 392°F and roast for further 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Boil the potatoes with their skin on until tender. Drain, peel and slice them. In a pan melt the butter, add finely chopped parsley and stir-fry for a couple of seconds. Put in the sliced potatoes, sprinkle salt over them and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Serve hot with the crispy garlic ribs.