Have ribs cut into 2-inch pieces and place in a large cold skillet.
Place over low heat at first, then increase heat so that ribs can brown well on all sides. This should take about 10 minutes. Discard all drippings.
Meanwhile, combine vinegar, sugar, and ginger root and add to ribs. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer covered for about 1 1/2 hours.
Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water and add gradually to sauce to thicken.