I took the weekend off to spend some time with the family, but now it’s back to the blog. Yesterday, we had a nice meal of Oven Barbecued Baby Back Ribs and Broccoli Slaw. It made us all think about summer coming fast since the weather has been so mild this winter. Oven Barbecue Ribs are great to make any time of the year. You can use any store-bought sauce that you like, or a dry rub, or make your own sauce. I often use a dry rub or make me own sauce, and I’ll post those recipes as we get into the warmer weather. Yesterday I just used Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce, which is our sauce of choice. There’s not much to oven barbecuing ribs, so the recipe is quite quick.
Oven Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
1-2 racks pork loin baby back ribs (about 2-3 pounds each rack)
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce, homemade or store-bought
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the ribs, meaty side up, on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Wrap the pan tightly with foil. Roast for 2 hours. Remove the foil and brush the meaty side of the ribs with barbecue sauce. Continue to roast, uncovered, until the bones have separated from the meat, about 1 hour longer.
That’s all there is to it. You can do the same with spareribs if you prefer them; I like the taste of the baby back ribs better myself. I served this with a nice broccoli slaw. This slaw has a little kick to it, but you can eliminate the red pepper flakes from the recipe if you prefer something milder.
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups shredded broccoli slaw
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the carrots, broccoli slaw and red onion. Set aside. In a small saucepan, add the vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, salt, sugar, red pepper flakes and the black pepper. Bring to a light boil over low heat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add the olive oil to the vinegar mixture, pour over the vegetables and toss together to combine. Refrigerate until serving.
It made for a nice, refreshing dinner. Tonight’s dinner, following along with my schedule, is a slow cooker meal. Tonight I am making Slow Cooker Pepper Pork Chops. This is a recipe I got from Alton Brown of the Food Network. It takes a little prep work as the pork chops need to be brined overnight, but it’s definitely worth it.
Slow Cooker Pepper Pork Chops
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, slightly crushed
1 pound ice
4 (1 to 1 1/2 inch thick) bone-in pork chops
2 teaspoons salt
3 apples, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, julienned
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Combine the vegetable broth or water, 1/2 cup salt, brown sugar and peppercorns in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook just until the salt and sugar dissolve, then remove from the heat and add the ice. Place the pork chops into a gallon zip-top bag along with the mixture and seal. Place in a plastic container and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the chops from the brine, rinse, and pat dry. Season on both sides with salt and set aside. Place the apples in the slow cooker. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the pork chops on both sides until golden brown, approximately 5 to 6 minutes per side. Once browned, place the pork chops into the slow cooker atop the apples.
Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan followed by the onions and saute until they begin to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth to the pan to deglaze. Add the black pepper and the thyme and stir to combine. Transfer this to the slow cooker, set to high, and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Decrease the heat to low and continue cooking for another 4 1/2 hours, or until the pork is tender and falling away from the bone.
If you want to leave the slow cooker in the morning and not have to turn anything down, you can leave the pork chops on low the whole time and cook for 8 hours. I am serving this meal simply, with some white rice and steamed vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli).
As for the meal plan for this week, here is what I am making:
Monday: Slow Cooker Pepper Pork Chops, White Rice, Steamed Vegetables
Tuesday: Trinidadian Chicken Stew
Wednesday: Hamburgers, Oven Fries, Oven-Fried Onion Rings
Thursday: Fettuccine Alfredo
Friday: Monkfish ( I haven’t decided how I am cooking it, but I did buy it and freeze it).
They are all simple, tasty meals. By the way, I won’t be eating the fettuccine, I’ll be having crab-stuffed trout that day, so I’ll post both recipes, but they will both be delicious :). I think that covers everything for tonight. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a note and say hi. Until tomorrow, enjoy your meal!