It's best to buy meat with the bone in whenever possible, especially rib meat like pork strips. Pork strips, also known as country-style ribs, come from the meaty sirloin section of the loin, and have a thick layer of cartilage attaching a bone to each. The bone falls off during cooking because the cartilage attaching it renders into gelatin, giving the cooking liquid enough body to use as a sauce without adding a thickener. The oven works better than the grill for pork strips, because they need a little time in a moist-heat sauna to loosen up and get tender.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat the pork strips dry and coat them with oil.
Season the pork strips to taste and add them to a heavy-gauge roasting pan. Add any aromatic and pungent vegetables to cook with the strips. Aromatic and pungent vegetables will also flavor the sauce or glaze, so consider the basics -- chopped carrots, onions and celery -- and the optional, such as sliced garlic and ginger, to taste.
Coat all the vegetables with oil and season them with salt and pepper. Slide the roasting pan in the oven.
Roast the ribs and vegetables for 10 minutes, and then turn them over and stir. Roast another five minutes.
Take the pan from the oven and lower the temperature to 300 F. Pour a few cups of stock and wine in the pan and scrape the bottom with a wood scraper or spoon to deglaze. Use enough liquid to almost cover the pork strips.
Add dried spices, such as bay leaves and peppercorns, to the stock and wine, if desired. You can also add canned stew tomatoes to help tenderize the pork, if desired. Cover the roasting pan with thick aluminum foil and return it to the oven.
Braise the pork for 1 hour and turn the strips over in the pan. If needed, add water to keep the strips nearly covered.
Braise the pork for another hour and uncover the pan. Check the tenderness with a fork. If the meat slices easily, it's ready. Return the pan to oven and cook, uncovered, for another 15 to 20 minutes, if needed.
Take the pan out of the oven and transfer the ribs to a plate. Strain the liquid in the roasting pan through a sieve and into a saucepan.
Set the heat to medium-high and simmer the cooking liquid until it reduces by one-half to three-fourths. Place the strips in the saucepan.
Coat the pork strips in the sauce. Finish with roughly chopped herbs and serve immediately.
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A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.