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Sweet and Sour Ribs That Fall Off the Bone and Into Your Mouth

This recipe calls for searing the ribs and then braising them in a sweet and sour sauce. When it comes to sourcing the ribs I would seek out a St. Louis style rack. Remove the membrane on the inside of the rack if the butcher didn’t already do it for you. Then cut it into 3 rib portions for easier searing and final portioning.

The braising liquid becomes the final sweet and sour sauce. You’ll just need to pass them through a basic fat separator. If you don’t have one you can usually buy one at a kitchen supply store for less than twenty dollars.


  • Large enamel coated Dutch oven

  • Fat separator

  • Zester or microplane

  • Heavy duty tinfoil


  • 2 St. Louis style racks of pork ribs

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger

  • ½ cup of rice wine vinegar

  • ½ cup of Paleo soy sauce

  • ½ cup of water

  • ½ cup of raw honey

  • 2 tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar

Here is how to make a delicious sweet and sour ribs


Step 1: Clean, trim and cut the racks into 3-rib sections.

Step 2: Put 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the oil shimmers add 2 rib portions and sear for 5 to 7 minutes. It’s important to work in batches, crowding the pan will simply increase the searing time and give you uneven browning. When a rib portion is properly sealed, remove it to a platter and tent with tinfoil.

Step 3: Once all of the rib portions are seared and removed from the Dutch oven, add the garlic and ginger and turn the heat down to medium-low. Toss continuously for a minute or two or until the garlic is golden brown.

Step 4: Add the soy sauce, honey water and red wine vinegar to the pot and scrape the brown bits from the bottom. Bring the sauce to a simmer then add the ribs back into the Dutch oven.

Step 5: Turn the heat down to low, cover and allow the ribs to braise for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and about to come off the bone. Note that you do not want the meat to peel off the bone easily it should still have enough texture that you could bite through it cleanly without completely falling apart.

Step 6: Remove the ribs from the Dutch oven to a platter and cover with heavy duty tinfoil.

Step 7: Add the balsamic vinegar to the Dutch oven and stir to combine. This will help punch up the sour flavors in the sauce. If you added it earlier the vinegar flavor would break down.

Step 8: Pour the sauce off into a fat separator. Let it sit for 4 to 5 minutes to completely process the sauce. Then pour the sauce over the top of the ribs and serve immediately. While there are a lot of Asian flavors involved here, I actually like to serve this with sweet potato fries and a strong iced tea with lemon. It’s the sort of dish that begs you to eat it with your hands so I try to stick to finger food side dishes rather than make a big mess of knife and fork.

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Sage Nutrition and Healing Center is a holistic health practice, dedicated to bringing safe, natural alternatives to conventional medicine to patients looking for ways to live overall healthier lives.


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