Braised BBQ Short Ribs

When we decided to go in with some friends and purchase half a cow to feed our family,  I was faced with learning how to cook parts of this animal that I had never before been introduced to.

 

One such cut was the Short Ribs.  I grew up on Pork Ribs; Spare, Baby Back, or little Rib-lets, all cooked slow and low over smoky coals until the meat nearly falls of the bone.  Though it was never really said, the crinkled nose and squint that my mother produced when Beef Ribs were mentioned (it sort of looked like she had just smelled sour milk), led me to believe they were some inferior, flavorless drivel in comparison to Spare Ribs.

 

Fast Forward a zillion years, and I have a freezer with a bunch of packages marked Short Ribs, and not a clue how to fix them, and more than a little trepidation on how they will taste.

 

My first attempt at cooking them came from inspiration found on a blog called The Cow Queen.  Her recipe for Crock Pot Short Ribs was simply fantastic.  Light, sweet, flavorful, and falling off the bone, finger licking good.  I suggest you try it!  It created a great gravy that was good on the grits as she cooked it or equally yummy on mashed potatoes.

Confidant now that Short Ribs could indeed be used for more than dog food, I set out to create a BBQ version of my own.

…. and here is how it goes…..

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I started with 10- 12 short ribs.  They were thawed enough for me to pull them apart, but they were still pretty frozen.  I took 1 cup of flour and placed it in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. To the flour I added 2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper.  I shook it up to combine, and added the Ribs in small batches. Shaking to coat them completely.

 

On the stove I heated up a few Tbsp. of Corn oil, and placed the ribs in them to brown. 

 

While the first batch was browning, I cut up a medium sized onion and added it to the bottom of my crock pot.

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At this point the kitchen is starting to smell pretty fabulous, and the kids are starting to wander in and ask what is for dinner.  It is always a good thing to have them salivating over the thought of dinner at 10 in the morning Smile.

 

I kept working in batches until all the ribs were coated, browned and in the pot.  At one point the leftover flour that was in the oil became too dark, and was in essence burning, so I poured it out and started fresh.  (So, don’t be afraid to change your oil out if you need to.)

 

Now for the BBQ part of the dish.  It can be easy, or…. more complicated.  On this day, I didn’t have any “easy” in my fridge, so it was more complicated.  I will share both options with you, so you can decide what version best fits your style of cooking.

 

The Easy Option.  ~ when the meat has been browned, pour in a 1/2 a can of coke to the bottom of the crock pot, after that, pour over a small bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce.  cover and cook on High for 5-6 hours. 

 

The “What You Do When You Decide to Make BBQ Ribs and Don’t Have BBQ Sauce in the Fridge” Option  ~

3-6 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. yellow Mustard

1/4 to a 1/2 cup Catsup

1/2 to a 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 cloves of garlic ~ minced

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

 

Wisk all that up, and you have a pretty tasty BBQ sauce.  Make sure you taste it and adjust the flavors to your liking.  I was just randomly pouring things into a bowl and tasting as I went.  The above measurements are pretty flexible, I have a friend that tells me I am like the Rat in Ratatouille, always mixing things by taste….  so make adjustments if you need to for flavoring.

Still add the 1/2 a can of coke…..Cover and Cook on High for 5-6 hours.

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When it is all said and done.  They will fall off the bone….. YUM!

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Enjoy!

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Sweet and Sour Chicken

This post was originally titled: Emergency!  I need dinner! 
As I was throwing this recipe into the crock pot for dinner, I decided I needed to share it with you all. Why? well, read on!

How many times have you looked at the clock around lunch time, and said ” I forgot to take out the chicken! ” or ” I have 3000 things to do between now and dinner and no time to fit cooking in there!

Relax.
I’ve got ya covered.

It is simple, it is fast. It doesn’t require pre-thawing a thing. If you keep three things in your pantry, you can always pull this amazing dish out of your hat…. still run all your errands and have dinner on the table before 6pm.

You will need the following:
Crock Pot
Frozen Chicken Breasts or Tenderloins
1 package of Onion Soup Mix
1 8oz bottle of Catalina Dressing
1 cup Apricot Jam

Directions:
grease or spray the inside of the crock pot…. this is a sticky dish and it will help you clean up!

place chicken in pot. Yes, frozen chicken. Ignore your Crock Pot directions and do as I tell you. ( For my family of 6 we would use say 10 tenderloin pieces or at least a whole breast per person)

Mix the other three ingredients together. Pour over chicken.
Cook on Low for 5 hours or until Chicken is done ( yes maybe before 5 hours it is done… depends on how much chicken you use, size of crock pot…. stuff like that) If the sauce looks to thick just add a bit of water while it is cooking…

Typically I serve this dish with Brown Rice and a green salad. There are many a great rice out there that can be nuked and set on the table fast. If you need that check into Trader Joe’s Brown Rice. It is in their freezer section and great to have on hand when you don’t have 20-40 minutes to cook rice.

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