slow cooked ribs provencal

Fall-off-the-bone ribs, succulent from several hours slowly cooking in a wine, garlic, rosemary & tomato sauce, served simply with some steamed veggies…these are GOOD!!!!! Once cooked & cooled, the ribs, bathing in their sauce, go into the fridge overnight to allow any fat to solidify & be easily removed. Then it’s as simple as popping the ribs back into the oven for 30 minutes to reheat. 


Today is the first day of fall & what better way to celebrate my most favorite season than with something as comforting as slow cooked ribs. Although these take a day or so to cook & cool, the method is simple & the ingredients are few. This is my kind of cooking. I struggled a little with the title of this recipe: ‘Slow cooked’ could be misconstrued the ribs were cooked in a slow cooker, they’re not, they’re cooked in the oven. Provencal is a region in France, just in case you weren’t up on your geography & clearly these weren’t made in France (I wish) & I didn’t want to offend someone because god knows that’s easy to do. But the name seemed to fit. Herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram & savory are prevalent in Provencal cooking, altogether or one or two on their own. Helping to flavor these ribs are fresh rosemary & basil, added at the end & to me. This sort of cooking is rustic & simple…like these tender ribs. So, after much deliberation (it’s exhausting being me some days), I went with ‘slow cooked ribs Provencal’. Problem solved! 

slow cooked ribs

I served the ribs simply with some steamed green beans. If you don’t care about calories or carbs, then mashed potatoes would be a delicious addition too. As I’m making a determined effort to lose weight I had my ribs minus the mashed taters. A serving of ribs – about three single ribs, is about 400 calories. It’s hard to calculate because most of the wine has cooked off & the excess fat is removed. I’m still dieting, watching my calories & maintaining more of a lower carb diet that’s gluten-free. That all sounds confusing but it’s working for me as long as I watch my caloric intake. And I make it as simple as I can. If it’s complicated, I’m not going to stick to it. 

overhead single ribs

Making peace with food is important in this journey. So is eating tasty food that satiates. If I have to live on steamed broccoli & poached chicken to lose weight I’m not going to last. I don’t intend to eat ribs every night of the week but it’s good to pepper your diet with wholesome, comforting food – amongst the lettuce leaves, broccoli & grilled chicken. 

slow cooked ribs provencal
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons, extra
  2. 3.5 to 4 lbs (1.5 to 1.8kg) small pork spare ribs, cut into individual ribs
  3. 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  4. 1/3 cup tomato paste
  5. 1 (750ml) bottle of sweeter wine (such as moscato)
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  9. 1/4 chopped fresh basil, plus extra leaves for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large flameproof, ovenproof baking pan over medium-high heat. Brown ribs in batches until browned all over. Remove from pan & drain & discard fat from pan.
  3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in same pan on medium-low. Cook garlic for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste & cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  4. Add wine, rosemary, salt & pepper. Stir until well combined. Add the ribs & turn to coat. Cover securely with foil. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil. Turn ribs & cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, turning twice during cooking. Let ribs cool. Cover & refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  5. Next day, scrape fat from ribs & discard fat. Cover ribs & reheat in 325°F (160°C) oven for 30 minutes or until hot. Stir in chopped basil. Garnish with basil leaves.
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