Tag Archives: barbecue sauce

Back From Vacation with These Spare Ribs With Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce

I spent the last week down in the Outer Banks in North Carolina with my family just relaxing and enjoying the sun and not doing much cooking along the way. my brother manned the grills for the week and did a great job with all of the different things that he cooked. I did make a few side dishes along the way but nothing extravagant and we all had a great time seeing each other and having fun. Now that I am back home, it’s time to get down to some more cooking. I had these spare ribs in the freezer and knew I wanted to make them, so I decided to give this recipe a try from Kitchen Daily that makes use of a smoky blackberry barbecue sauce. Their original recipe is designed to be used with short ribs, but I think it makes a pretty nice transition over to spare ribs. I used St. Louis ribs, but you could just easily use baby backs and get good results.

Spare Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce

For the Sauce:

1 pound blackberries

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 medium onion, finely chopped, plus 1/4 cup minced

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons seeded and minced chipotles in adobo sauce

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

For the Ribs:

4 pounds St. Louis spare ribs or baby back ribs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the ribs on the baking sheet. Season the ribs well with salt and pepper on both sides. Cover the ribs with another sheet of aluminum foil and bake them, covered, in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the top cover of aluminum foil and bake the ribs uncovered for another 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large bowl toss the blackberries together with the smoked paprika. Heat a medium saute pan over high heat and place the blackberries in the pan. Heat the berries, tossing them occasionally, until the berries begin to burst, about 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large saucepan, heat the 3 tablespoons of vegetable over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and started to brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until the paste is glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the blackberries, cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, chipotles, Dijon mustard and the ground cumin and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has slightly thickened and the berries are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the sauce to a blender and allow it to cool slightly. Puree the sauce until it is smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard any leftover solids in the sieve. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and allow the sauce to cool completely. Stir in the minced onion, the olive oil and the dried oregano.

Brush the ribs in the oven with the blackberry barbecue sauce until they are well coated and continue baking the ribs for another 25 minutes. Turn up the heat in the oven to 400 degrees and give the ribs a final coating of barbecue sauce, allowing them to cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce is caramelized and the ribs are cooked through.Remove the ribs from the oven to a cutting board and cut the ribs into portions and serve with the remaining sauce.

The blackberry sauce has a very distinct flavor to it and the chipotles add just the right amount of heat to the sauce. The sauce has the consistency of any other barbecue sauce but if you like blackberries you will really enjoy the flavor you get. This sauce is great for ribs but I think it would do just as well on chicken or other pieces of pork if you wanted to give that a try. I tried to strain out as many of the blackberry seeds as I could but some still got through so it’s something you have to be aware of if your diners aren’t fans of the seeds. Other than that, I think the sauce was a real winner.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!




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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Grilling, Pork, Sauce


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Classic Barbecued Chicken for the Fourth

If you are looking for a good alternative to hamburgers, hot dogs and steak for this holiday weekend, a good option is always to do something with some chicken. You have lots options of available to you as far as just making a bunch of different chicken pieces or if you know that you have a crowd that really just wants to have thighs, legs, wings or breasts you can just go with those pieces on your grill. One thing about doing chicken on the grill is that you need to really watch it so that the skin doesn’t burn before the rest of the chicken is actually cooked through. This is one of the reasons I like to make barbecued chicken in the oven more than outside, which works out really well for me since I only have the electric grill to play with anyway. This particular recipe that I used comes from Better Homes and Gardens and is for their classic barbecued chicken, though I did modify the sauce recipe a bit to fit my own tastes. I have included my modifications in the recipe itself.

Classic Barbecued Chicken

2 3 1/2 pounds whole chickens, or 7 pounds of chicken pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup butter

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup cold water

1 1/4 cups cider vinegar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

1 cup ketchup

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup tomato paste

Vegetable or canola oil


If you are using whole chickens, cut up the chicken, leaving the drumsticks and thighs attached. Season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate, covered, up to 24 hours or until you are ready to use the chicken.

For the barbecue sauce, In large non-reactive saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic and salt and cook until the onion softens and is tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper, paprika, chili powder and black pepper. Cook and stir the mixture for about 1 minute.

Add the water, cider vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the molasses, ketchup, liquid smoke, soy sauce and Dijon mustard until it is all blended. Whisk in the tomato paste until the mixture is smooth. Bring the sauce to a simmer over low heat and cook, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce for seasoning and make any adjustments with salt and pepper as needed. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the sauce to prepare the chicken. Store the remaining sauce in the refrigerator and simply reheat it to serve.

For the chicken, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat 1/4-inch of the vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Working in batches, place the chicken, skin side down, in the skillet. Cook until the chicken is well browned, turning once, for about 5 minutes.

Transfer the browned chicken to a large roasting pan or baking dish. Place the chicken skin side up and add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan. Spoon the reserved 1 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce over the chicken. Cover the chicken with parchment paper and then cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the chicken until all of the chicken is cooked through and an instant read thermometer inserted into one of the pieces registers 170 degrees. Depending on the pieces of chicken you are baking, this can take anywhere from 40 minutes for breast portions to 75 minutes for legs and thighs.

Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Uncover the chicken, removing the foil and the parchment paper, and spoon on some additional barbecue sauce. Bake the chicken, uncovered, for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is well-glazed and the meat is very tender. Serve the chicken with the reserved barbecue sauce (not the sauce you used to put on the raw chicken!) and store any remaining barbecue sauce, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Unfortunately, I did not remember to take a picture of the chicken when I made this one but it came out really well. you could certainly use the same idea and make this on the grill yourself, just keep a closer eye on the chicken to control the heat, cooking it on a lower heat side of a gas or charcoal grill to keep it from burning the skin easily. You should always put the sauce on towards the end of the cooking process so that the skin can get nice and crispy before the sauce goes on and you can retain the great sauce flavor that you get. Seasoning the chicken ahead of time or even brining it the night before can make a big difference here too, so if you have the time I recommend it. The sauce was great and I actually used some of the leftover chicken and remaining sauce to make some pulled chicken sandwiches, which I will post the recipe for soon as well. This goes great with any classic barbecue sides like baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, corn bread,corn on the cob and the like.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day, enjoy your meal and have a safe, happy and festive July 4th!


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Posted by on July 4, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Grilling, Poultry, Sauce


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A Meatball Finale – Turkey Meatballs with Raspberry-Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

I took a few days off from blogging to get caught up on some work, but I didn’t forget about my last meatball recipe to share along the way. The classic Italian meatballs sure went a long way and we had them for 4 dinners and a few lunches as well, so we got a lot out of the $14.00 I spent on the ground turkey and turkey sausage. Not only do the meatballs taste great, but you have a lot of things to do with them, including this recipe that Giada di Laurentiis shared on the Food Network for turkey meatballs in a raspberry-balsamic barbecue sauce. Giada’s original recipe offers these up as mini meatballs to use for appetizers, but I changed it around slightly and used bigger meatballs and we had them for dinner when I made them.

Turkey Meatballs with Raspberry-Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

2 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
3/4 cup ketchup
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
3 tablespoons packed golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black
Zest of 1 small lemon
24 to 36 Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs
For the barbecue sauce: In a food processor or blender, blend together the raspberries, ketchup, raspberry jam, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and lemon zest until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce into a heavy medium saucepan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Cook the sauce until it is slightly thickened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Place the meatballs in the saucepan with the sauce and cook over medium heat until the meatballs have cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the meatballs and sauce into a serving bowl and serve.

As I said, Giada makes her smaller to use as an appetizer and threads them on skewers with mango and radicchio, which would make a very nice appetizer if you want to put some out for a party or buffet. I think they worked just as well as a meal on their own over some rice. The sauce had a combination of the sweetness of the raspberries from the jam and the fruit with a bit of barbecue sauce flavor from the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. It was a very nice sauce that tasted great, though I would recommend if you are not a fan of raspberry seeds you really try to find seedless jam to use. Overall, I think it was a pretty good dish and we made this one and some of the turkey meatballs in a simple turkey gravy as well over rice or noodles to finish up the meatballs.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I have some new things to share that aren’t meatballs so I’ll be posting some new stuff next time out I think everyone will enjoy. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Appetizers, Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Turkey


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A Great New Year’s Eve Snack – Pulled Pork Nachos

This snack is actually great for all kinds of occasions, but it seemed like a pretty good one to make for New Year’s Eve as well if you want something different for your party guests or for yourself. Ideally, you would want to make the pulled pork well ahead of time so you have it on hand and ready to go. When I made these, I had some leftover pulled pork that I used from the dinner we had and it fit perfectly with the nachos. If you want to try the recipe and find you do not have the time to make the pulled pork yourself, you can always try buying pulled pork that has been pre-made and heating it up for use. It may not taste as good, but it will get the job done. My recommendation is if you have the time, go for it. If you can’t do it for this New Year’s Eve, keep it in mind for football playoff games, Super Bowl parties or they next time you just want a really good snack and what to take your nachos dish to the next level. I got this recipe from Food Republic, but you can certainly do different variations on this, as I did.

Pulled Pork Nachos

For the Pork Rub:

1/4 cup smoked paprika


1/4 cup kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

For the Pork:

1 4-5 pound pork shoulder or butt

1 bottle of your favorite beer

For the Barbecue Sauce:

2 cups ketchup

1 cup whole-grain mustard

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup reserved pork rub

For the Nachos:

1 bag tortilla chips

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

shredded Monterrey jack
red onion, sliced or diced
thinly sliced scallion
thinly sliced Fresno or other mildly hot peppers

For the barbecue sauce: Combine all your ingredients in a small pot, and whisk them for a bit to get everything incorporated together. Put the pot on the stove over medium heat, and wait for the sauce to start bubbling, stirring occasionally.Let it bubble for about a minute (while stirring a little bit), and then pull it off the heat and set aside, or refrigerate if making ahead.

For the pulled pork: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and then combine all the dry ingredients for your pork rub, making sure you mix the ingredients well so that everything is evenly distributed. Rub down your pork. There’s a possibility you’ll have more rub than you need depending on how big your pork butt is, but that’s more good news than bad and you can always store it for another use.

Place the pork in a baking dish and pour in the beer. Cover with foil and place it in the oven. Every hour after the first couple of hours you can go in and baste it a little. Depending on your oven and the size of your pork it will take about 5 to seven hours to cook completely.

Pull the pork out of the oven and let it cool off a bit before you start pulling it apart with your fingers and removing any unsavory bits such as any bones or large pieces of fat. Mix the pulled pork with enough barbecue sauce (reheated if made ahead) to coat to your liking.
To assemble the nachos:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, then arrange a thick layer of tortilla chips on a foil-wrapped cookie sheet or in a pie plate, spreading the chips out for as close to 100% cookie sheet or pie plate coverage as possible.

Top your nachos in this order, or choose however you like them best:

  • Pork
  • Red onion
  • Beans
  • Jack cheese
  • Scallions
  •  Peppers

Once the cheese is fully melted and just starting to crisp the nachos should be done. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes to achieve a nice, crispy level. Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

You can use all kinds of cheese when making these nachos; it is really up to you as far as preference. You can also make some changes and add things like tomato or black olives or even try making it with some barbecue baked beans for a really different flavors. They are nachos after all, so it is pretty hard to go wrong with them. The plate I made was on a pie plate so I had layered everything a couple of times before putting it in the oven. Needless to say, there weren’t any left after I put them out; they went pretty quickly.

That’s all I have for today. Check back again for more new recipes. I hope everyone has a safe New Year’s Eve and enjoy wherever you are going to be and whomever you are going to ring in the new year with. Thanks for making 2013 such a great year for my blog. it has blown up to be a lot bigger than I had ever thought it would get and I am so glad so many people enjoy sharing the recipes and fun with me. I am looking forward to an even better and more fun 2014. Enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal! Happy New Year!



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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Cooking, Holidays, Leftovers, Pork, Snacks


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