Over at Vinegar Hill House, new chef de cuisine Brian Leth takes his time in the kitchen with a meaty pasta dish that cooks all day. It’s the kind of meal that’ll help you sleep like a baby. Make it at home and you’ll be that much closer to your bed.
Braised Pork Rib Cannelloni
1 whole rack St. Louis-cut pork ribs
4 white onions, sliced thin
4 carrots, cut in coins
1 head red cabbage, shredded
¼ box golden raisins
1 can of beer
½ c. crème fraiche
¼ c. sherry vinegar
1 pkg. dried pasta tubes (if you’re feeling ambitious, make it fresh)
1 c. grated Parmesan
Extra-virgin olive oil
1. Cut the ribs into two-rib pieces. Season with salt. Brown thoroughly on all sides in a pan (in batches, if necessary).
2. Pour off most of the fat, leaving enough to sweat three-fourths of the onions. Add a knob of butter; cook until soft.
3. Put the cooked onions and carrots in an oven pan large enough for the ribs. Add a bunch of thyme and a few bay leaves. Place ribs on top, preferably in a single layer.
4. Add hot chicken stock to almost cover the meat. Cover tightly and cook in a 275º oven for five hours (just let it relax!) or until tender. Separate meat from bones by shredding with your fingers.
5. Once that’s done, remove carrots and onions and puree in a blender (add a little braising liquid for a smooth puree). Strain and reduce on the stove top by 50 percent.
6. Put the remaining onions in a pan with olive oil and butter and cook until translucent. Add cabbage, raisins, and beer. Cover and cook until cabbage is tender.
7. Combine cabbage, vinegar, pork, and all the liquid in a large pot. Stir in crème fraiche.
8. Plunge tube pasta in boiling water according to the directions on the box. Add pork filling and put covered dish in the oven for 15 minutes at 400º.
9. Remove tray and top each cannelloni with a pile of grated Parmesan. Return to the oven and cook until cheese browns slightly.
10. Serve the bubbling pasta over the puree. Sweet dreams.
Vinegar Hill House, 72 Hudson Avenue, between Front and Water Streets, Vinegar Hill (718-522-1018 or vinegarhillhouse.com).