Spareribs with Apples and Squash
4 pounds pork spareribs, cut into 2-rib portions
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
2-3/4 cups apple juice, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 medium acorn squash
4 large baking apples
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place ribs in one layer in a shallow roasting pan, meaty side up. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Bake for 45 minutes until well browned. Spoon fat from pan and reduce temperature to 350°. (Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)
Meanwhile, in medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Stir in 2-3/4 cups apple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. In a cup or small bowl, combine cornstarch with 1/4-cup apple juice. Gradually add to hot liquid and stir until slightly thickened. Pour juice mixture evenly over ribs. Cover with foil and bake 1 hour.
Cut each squash into 8 wedges and each apple in half, discarding seeds and cores. Add squash to ribs; spoon some of pan liquids over them and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Add apples, baste again; cover, and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until ribs and squash are tender. Remove from pan and place on serving platter; reduce liquids over burner, if desired. Serve immediately, passing juices separately.
Note: I always have small bottles of apple juice on hand for cooking that are only 7 ounces each. If you don't have 3 cups of apple juice, add water to
make the 3 cups.