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Posts Tagged ‘Barbeque’

As Greg alluded to, we had quite a feast Sunday evening. In lieu of candy corn and cheap chocolate this Halloween (though we had plenty of both at the Silvas’ Halloween party on Saturday!), we made oven-roasted ribs (see post below), cranberry barbecue sauce, garlicky-green mashed ptatoes, and a cranberry-apple shortbread pie for dinner Sunday night. It wasn’t quite a celebration for Halloween, but more a celebration of Thanksgiving feasts to come, the season of fall, and cancelled classes this Saturday. Maybe also a celebration of marriage and of life, as both have been wonderfully delightful lately.

This was quite an undertaking involving 4+ hours of cooking, so you should only embark on this adventure if you’re truly prepared. But if you are prepared with an uninterrupted block of time stretching ahead of you, definitely do give these recipes a try, as the results are truly phenomenal.

Cranberry Barbecue Glaze

The key to getting this right is salting heavily. Without sufficient salt, this will taste quite like a standard cranberry sauce, which is fine, but our vison (actualized) was more for a tangy, savory, spicy barbecue sauce.

1 T canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 c fresh cranberries
1/4 c orange juice
2 T lemon juice (can be substituted with distilled white vinegar)
2 1/4 c water
2 chopped dried Guajillo chiles, stems removed (can be substituted with other dried chiles)

Sautee onions and garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly charred. Stir in cranberries, juices, water, and chiles. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat until sauce reduced by half. Stir often. The cranberries will begin to pop lightly. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Cranberry-Apple Shortbread Pie

Remember the shortbread cookies with caramelized pumpkin glaze I made the other day? Well, you may have deduced that I did in fact freeze half of the shortbread cookie dough in my freezer, without much of a vision until the Costco sized bag of fresh cranberries arrived the other day. Inspiration beckoned, and a lovely, holiday-rrific cranberry apple shortbread pie was born. (If you’re without a leftover log of dough, other pie crusts are also acceptable, and I’d also be interested in seeing this made with a two-crust pie.)

1 shortbread pie crust (or half of the shortbread cookie recipe)
2 T flour
1 c brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 T ground ginger
4 Ginger Gold apples, cored and diced
1 1/2 c fresh cranberries
2 T lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 300F. Bring the plastic-wrapped shortbread dough to room temperature or until malleable. (I defrosted it on the oven while the ribs were cooking.) Turn out into a 9″ pie pan. Press dough into pie pan until bottom and sides are covered. Bake at 300F for 30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Combine flour, sugar, spices, apples, cranberries, and lemon juice. Pile high into cooled shortbread pie crust. Bake for 45 minutes until apples are softened but still retain their shape. The sugar will have caramelized into a light crisp on the apples.

Serve at room temperature (with spoons).

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While at Costco this past Saturday, my wife asked me, “Why don’t we ever buy ribs?” and I answered, “Because we never cook ribs.”  “But I love ribs!” she exclaimed.  I had no idea!  I always thought that we didn’t cook ribs because she didn’t like ribs.  And I realized my error.  And repented.  So we bought a Costco sized portion of two racks of pork spareribs.

Few things in life are as good as barbecued spareribs, slow-cooked for hours to smokey goodness.  But we’re still sans grill, and I always figured there was no cooking method that could do ribs justice so I never even bothered (plus, I thought she didn’t like ribs, remember?).  Well, I was wrong for so long about so many things.  We decided to give oven-roasting a shot.

I’ve realized that one of my favorite things to do is to slow cook a piece of meat for hours on end (beef short ribs have been the favorite for some time now).  Maybe it’s the satisfaction of knowing that the best things in life are not rushed and that trying to speed up success can often ruin it–these ribs were no different.  We let them “marinate” dry-rubbed for two hours and then cooked them for just over three hours.  And I’m worried the barbecue gods are going to strike me down when I say this: I honestly don’t know that they would have been that much better done properly over a smoldering log of hickory.  Well, maybe just a little better.

Dry rub:  I’ve got a chili powder spice mix with just about everything I use in a rub (paprika, salt, coriander, oregano, garlic, cayenne, cumin) to which I added more cumin and red chili pepper flakes.  I used about 1/2 a cup of rub for a rack of ribs, with more than 2/3 of that going toward the meaty side.  Let sit for at least an hour, but more is better.  Some people will also add sugar (brown or white) to their rubs, but since sugar can burn (a low risk cooking in a low-temperature oven, of course) and since we were going to slather them with a sweet and tangy sauce at the end, I left it out (I always leave it out).

Heat oven to 300 F.  Place ribs on a roasting rack in a roasting pan (so that there is room below the ribs for the drippings–we’re roasting, not frying) and slide in the oven.  They’ll be done about 3 hours later.  There’s no rush; at that temperature it’s hard to dry them out and the longer you wait, the more fat that will render and the more tender they’ll be.  When they’re done, remove from the oven, cover generously with sauce (forthcoming) and put under the broiler for 5-10 minutes but do not overcook or the sauce will burn!  Let the ribs rest before you cut them apart. Eat with your hands.

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