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David Lebovitz’s new book focuses on Paris’ savory side

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

In only half a dozen books on dessert, David Lebovitz has become one of the most beloved cookbook authors today.

Much of that can be attributed to his active blog and social media presence, but his books are must-haves for bakers looking for creative new ways to approach everything from tarts and terrines to ice creams and cakes. But since Lebovitz moved to Paris 10 years ago, the city of his culinary dreams has permeated just about every recipe, blog post and tweet he’s shared.

As such, his new book, “My Paris Kitchen” (Ten Speed Press, $35) focuses not on desserts but on all the ways in which his new home has influenced how he thinks about food, from breakfast all the way through the last truffle at the end of the night.

Lebovitz will be in Austin next week for a cooking class at Central Market that sold out faster than you can say “poulet a la moutarde” (that’s chicken with mustard, the stunning dish that graces the book’s cover), but the store is offering two meet-and-greet sessions at the North Lamar location, one from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Friday and another from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Caramel Pork Ribs

The French enjoy ribs just as much as their Wild West counterparts. And many cafés — albeit without swinging double doors — feature “travers du porc au caramel” as the plat du jour at lunchtime, which is announced on chalkboards in that decidedly French cursive writing. The ribs are a little more refined than in Texas, and you won’t see anyone in Paris picking up their ribs with their hands at the table (unless they want to be seen as outlaws).

Americans are also known for our love of ketchup, which some people seem to put on everything. Judging from the shelves and shelves of ketchup in the supermarkets here, along with le sauce barbecue, it’s obvious that the French are shooting down the notion that Americans are the only ones enjoying the readily available red sauce.

— David Lebovitz

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, light or dark

3/4 cup beer

1/4 cup bourbon

3 Tbsp. cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. ketchup

1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. harissa, Sriracha sauce, or another hot sauce

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 lb. pork ribs, cut into 3- or 4-rib portions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the granulated sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a large pot with a cover, such as a roasting pan or a Dutch oven. Cook the sugar over medium heat until it starts to melt around the edges. When the liquefied sugar just starts to darken to a pale copper color, stir the sugar inward and continue to cook, stirring until the sugar is completely moistened. Continue to cook the sugar, stirring infrequently, until all of it is a deep copper-colored liquid, similar in color to dark maple syrup, and smoking (but not burnt). Turn off the heat and stir in the brown sugar, then add the beer. The mixture will seize and harden, which is normal.

Let the mixture cool down a bit, then stir in the bourbon, cider vinegar, ketchup, ginger, soy sauce, harissa, mustard and pep­per. Put the ribs in the pot and turn on the heat until the sauce boils and bubbles up. Turn the ribs a few times in the liquid, cover, and roast in the oven for for to 2 hours, until the ribs are tender, turning occasionally.

Remove the lid from the pot and continue to roast, for 30 minutes more, or until the juices have thickened a bit. Remove from the oven, skim any visible fat from the surface of the liquid, and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

— From “My Paris Kitchen” by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press, $35)