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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Recipe's #4 - Ribs and Italian beef stew
Unclemick said barbecue, the definition of which could start another 15 page thread. Here's a couple of rib recipes for those who cant wait all day for the smoker to produce their baby backs.
And the best beef stew I've ever had.
These are not true "barbecue" recipes by any definition, but they're good. And all meat for you carnivores.
Get one or more slabs of baby back pork ribs. You can use this same methodology for regular slab ribs or even beef ribs, but they'll need a lot more cooking time.
Buy a box of extra wide foil...18" wide or more. Pull out an amount a little more than twice as long as the rib slab. Lay it out and put the ribs on top.
We're going to make a rub, but we're not going to rub it in. Simplest is just chili powder. I make a mix of 4 parts brown sugar, one part chili powder, one part cumin, one part black pepper, one part salt, and one part italian seasoning. Be creative. I make a bunch up and put it in a ziploc bag or a canister.
Sprinkle some of this on. You dont want a breaded appearance, so dont overdo it. Consider this as you would heavily "salting" the meat...you want good coverage but too much is not good.
Flip the ribs over so the curved part is face up. Dont bother rubbing this, it wont matter.
Fold the foil over, pinch it off all around snugly (dont rip it), put this in the fridge for an hour or overnight. Or dont, it'll still be ok.
Heat the oven to 350, remove the ribs from the fridge if you put them in the oven on a cookie sheet or something that can catch juice if the packet leaks. You can cook as many packets of these as your oven can handle, just dont stack them. Cook for roughly 60-90 minutes. Open the package at one end and tweak one of the bones. If its just starting to turn in its socket, its done. If the whole slab still has a lot of spring in it, its still underdone. If the bone pulls out, its overdone. Full slab pork ribs may take 2 hours or more...beef ribs even longer...for these you may also want to reduce the heat to 300 and increase the cooking time.
Take them out, and if you like put the wrapped ribs over a large pan and snip the foil in the middle to let the juice out into the pan...this is a good start for a homemade barbecue sauce. If you dont want the juice, do the unwrapping in the sink.
Using scissors or your fingers, unwrap the ribs and either throw them on the grill or under the broiler for a few minutes until they get that brown and crispy look.
Carve them up and serve at the table with sauce on the side.
What we did here was braise the ribs in their own juices and our spice "rub", which has fully infused the meat without any extra work. They're moist, tender, tasty, and above all...easy.
An alternative if you like sticky sauced ribs and dont mind doing some extra work:
After you pinch up the rib foil pack, keep one end open and curved up like a funnel. Add a 1/2 cup of white wine, beer, or whatever floats your boat. A glop of chopped garlic. An extra spoonful or two of brown sugar. A few spoonfuls of balsamic or red wine vinegar. Seal it up. Cook as above. Drain the considerable juices from the foil into a pan. Taste it and add brown sugar, wine, tabasco and/or vinegar to taste. Boil it down until its bbq sauce/glaze consistency, paint it on the ribs, and serve. Dont put them under the broiler or on the grill, the glaze will just burn. Sticky and good.
Italian beef stew
Cut four pounds of chuck or other stewing meat into chunks about 1-2 inches. Thoroughly brown by whatever means works for you. Drain the fat. Add 2 cups dry red wine, 2 14oz cans diced tomatoes, 1 cup chopped fresh basil or 3 tablespoons dried, 18 (yes, 18) peeled garlic cloves, a big handful of dry sun-dried tomatoes (or add chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes to the pan when its nearly done) and 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper.
Cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, until beef is tender but not falling apart. If it starts running low on liquid, add more wine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Make polenta (see recipe #3 post)
Make gremolata. This is a raw, fresh seasoning for hearty dishes. Mix 1 cup chopped fresh parsley with a finely chopped garlic clove and 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest. You may use a tablespoon of lemon juice instead of zest if you're not into zesting, and more raw garlic never hurt anyone.
Plate up some polenta and spoon the stew over it. Garnish with a big spoonful of gremolata on top; pass a bowl with extra gremolata at the table.
If you cant find sun dried tomatoes or you have a load of your own from a garden, slice fresh tomatoes 1/4 inch thick, put on a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil, and dry at 200 degrees for 2-3 hours until shrunken and dark brown. These will keep in the fridge for a week or two.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.