Confit of Baby Back Ribs White Cheddar Potato Fondue

Confit of Baby Back Ribs White Cheddar Potato Fondue: Usually we associate duck legs for the slow-cooked confit preparation.  At Beechwood Inn we often use baby back ribs accompanied by creamy potatoes generously infused with sharp cheese and rosemary.  A sweet wild cherry glaze provides the perfect balance of flavors.

Confit of Baby Back Ribs White Cheddar Potato Fondue

For the Ribs

2 pounds of local grass fed baby back ribs

1 quart of water

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Several sprigs of thyme, rosemary and/or sage

1 large shallot peeled and sliced

8 cloves garlic

1 quart of oil or rendered duck fat

Preparation: Cut the ribs in half and rinse them under cold running water.  Put the ribs in a non-reactive container. Combine the ingredients except the oil and pour over the ribs. Cover and allow to brine in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Remove the ribs and rinse. Pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 280 degrees F. Place the ribs in a dish or pan that just fits the ribs. Pour over the oil to cover the ribs. Place a tight fitting lid or foil over the container and place in the oven for 4-5 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Let the ribs cool in the oil until they can be handled. Remove the ribs and discard the oil. Drain off excess oil and peel off mush of the connective tissue from the back of the rack.  Portion ribs into 2 bone racks and keep warm.

For the potatoes

3 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

2 quarts water

3 tablespoons salt

½ cup cream

2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

½ cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese

½ teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation: Bring the water to a boil in a pot.  Add 3 tablespoons of salt to the water. Cut potatoes in half and add them to water. Boil gently until tender in the middle when peirced with a sharp knife, about 20 minutes.

Place butter in a pan and heat on medium. When the butter is melted and starts to sizzle add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the cream and simmer, then keep warm until the potatoes are cooked.

Drain potatoes in a colander, then rice potatoes while still warm. Add most of the cream, and all of the cheese, herbs and salt and pepper.  Stir just to mix and inspect texture.  If the potatoes are not creamy enough add the rest of the cream mixture and stir. Transfer the potatoes to an oven proof baking dish and heat in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes.

For the Glaze

1 cup good quality dry red wine

¾ cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger (on microplane)
½ cup white wine vinegar

¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 ½ cups dried sour cherries
½ tablespoon grated orange zest (on microplane)

Preparation: Put first 5 ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Add sour cherries and simmer slowly for 2 – 3 hours until it reduces and thickens. Stir occasionally. Add the orange zest.

To Serve: We use a large ice cream scoop to dish out a portion of the potatoes and place it on the plate. To each serving with 2 ribs, drizzle some glaze on top of the ribs and drizzle a little more around the plate.  Top each rib rack with micro-greens or a fresh herb sprig. Serve with colorful seasonal vegetables.

This recipe for Confit of Baby Back Ribs White Cheddar Potato Fondue works perfect for st. Patrick’s Day Festivities