Bobby declared my “maple-bourbon-mustard seed braised ribs” the best meat dish I have ever made! I concur. I can’t believe this escaped from my chubby, former-vegetarian finger pads! I have to give my Mamma big credit for infusing my brain with lessons on making osso bucco, and my kitchen co-conspirator Nora whose braised masterpieces I have scrutinized like a starved hawk. This would make a marvelous signature dish for your Christmas feast! The sweetly spiced rib meat melts off the bone with such grace, with a ring of roasted potatoes to mop up every last drop of braise sauce.

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Maple-Bourbon-Mustard Seed Braised Ribs

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions


  • Pork ribs – 1 rack, or about 12-14 bones, of pork ribs
  • Olive oil – 4 tablespoons
  • Tomatoes – 1 large (about 28.2 ounce) can of whole, peeled tomatoes
  • Yellow onions – 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • Carrots – About 3 cups sliced carrots
  • Red wine – 1.5 cups
  • Maple syrup – 4.5 tablespoons
  • Bourbon – 3 tablespoons
  • Yellow mustard seeds – 2.5 teaspoons
  • Sea salt – 2.5 teaspoons
  • Oregano – 2.5 teaspoons crushed, dried
  • Rosemary – 2.5 teaspoons crushed, dried
  • Thyme – 2.5 teaspoons crushed, dried
  • Bay leaves – 2 bay leaves
  • Cinnamon – 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • Black pepper – 1.5 teaspoon, freshly ground
  • Soy sauce – 1.5 teaspoons
  • Ginger root – 1.5 inches of ginger root, finely minced or grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Mise en place your ingredients, in other words, prepare your ingredients and have them on the counter ready to use.
  2. Rinse the rack of ribs and pat them dry. Ideally, you will want to use a large baking dish that can go on the stovetop and in the oven. If you don’t have one, start out with a large frying pan and transfer your ribs to the baking dish. Heat the olive oil over medium-high in a pan or dish on the stovetop. When it is hot, add the ribs and sear each side for about 2 minutes until the outside flesh is nicely browned. Don’t forget the ends and the sides! This will seal in the juices and flavors. Either remove the oven-proof dish from the heat, or, transfer the ribs to the oven-proof dish. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes and tomato juice, onions, carrots, wine, maple syrup, bourbon, mustard seeds, sea salt, herbs, spices, soy sauce and ginger.
  4. Pour the braise mixture over the ribs in the oven-proof dish.
  5. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and put it in the oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours, lower the heat to 350 and continue cooking for 1 more hour. The sauce should reduce by about 2/3 its original quantity.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the ribs to cool for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and arrange the roasted potatoes around the edges. Serve with a generous topping of sweetly spiced braise sauce on top! Groan!

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