Backyard rib fest
Cornbread muffins, coleslaw perfect sides
There is nothing as fun as a great summer barbecue with friends. You could offer them salmon, steaks, burgers or chicken, but if want to serve them something that’s finger-licking good, go with ribs.
With this recipe, to simplify the process, I ovensteamed the ribs before finishing them off on the grill. I cut three racks of ribs each into two- to three-bone pieces, set them in a large pan and seasoned them. I then poured some cider into the pan — just enough to cover the bottom of it. The ribs were then covered and cooked in a low-temperature oven until tender, about two hours.
Cider-steamed Barbecued Ribs
2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder 2 tsp (10 mL) oregano
Once they were tender, I finished off the ribs on a hot grill to enhance their colour, slathered them with barbecue sauce, let that sauce heat through a few minutes and the ribs were ready to devour.
As for side dishes, I’ve included cornbread muffins flavoured with jalapeno pepper and cheese.
Here’s a creamy coleslaw where tangy buttermilk is used in the dressing for a coleslaw with bits of apples, pecans and other good things. For a drink: iced tea lemonade. Prep. time: 15 minutes Cooking time: About 2 hours, 15 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C). Make seasoning mixture by combining the cumin, chili powder, oregano and cayenne in a small bowl. Cut each rack of ribs between the bones into two- to three-rib pieces.
Set the ribs meaty side up in a single layer in a large, shallowsided roasting or baking pan. Sprinkle and rub the ribs with the seasoning. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add the cider to the pan. Cover and bake the ribs for 2 hours, or until tender, but still holding together. Remove ribs from the oven and uncover.
Heat your barbecue to medium or medium-high heat. Set the ribs on the grill and cook on both sides until a nice colour is achieved, about 5 minutes per side. Set the ribs meaty side up and brush with barbecue sauce to taste. Let sauce heat through for
a few minutes.
No-Cook Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce
Prep. time: 5 minutes Cooking time: none Makes: about 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) 1 cup (250 mL) ketchup
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil 2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce 2 tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar 2 tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup or honey
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard 1 tsp (5 mL) paprika 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1/4 tsp (1 mL) onion powder 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) garlic powder Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Transfer to a tight-sealing jar and refrigerate. Sauce will keep up to 2 weeks.
Creamy Coleslaw with Apples and Pecans
Prep. time: 25 minutes Cooking time: none Makes: 6 to 8 servings
For the dressing:
1/3 cup (80 mL) mayonnaise
1/4 cup (60 mL) buttermilk
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard A few splashes hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate the dressing. Dressing can be made several hours in advance.
For the coleslaw: 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice 1 medium red apple 3 cups (750 mL) thinly shredded green cabbage 1/3 cup (80 mL) pecan pieces
1/3 cup (80 mL) grated carrot 1/3 cup (80 mL) diced celery 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Place lemon juice in a mediumto-large bowl. Core the apple, cut into small cubes, set in the bowl and toss to coat with the lemon juice. Add the cabbage, pecans, carrot, celery and green onion to the bowl, but do not toss to combine. (Coleslaw can be made to this point two hours in advance; cover and refrigerate until ready to dress.)
When ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss everything together to combine. For crisp coleslaw, serve it soon after dressing it.
Savoury Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
Prep. time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 18 to 20 minutes Makes: 12 muffins
Vegetable oil spray
1 cup (250 mL) cornmeal
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) sugar 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder 1 medium-to-large jalapeno pepper, halved, seeded and finely chopped 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro or thinly sliced green onion 1 cup (250 mL) Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, grated
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) buttermilk
1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Coat each cup in a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with vegetable oil spray.
Place the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the jalapeno pepper, cilantro (or green onion) and cheese and use a spoon to mix them into the flour mixture.
Place the egg in a second medium bowl and beat until the white and yolk are blended. Mix in buttermilk and oil. Mix the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined. Divide and spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup about threequarters full.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cornbread muffins spring back when gently touched in the centre.
Set muffins on a baking rack and cool 15 minutes. Remove each muffin from the pan.
Enjoy immediately, or cool them to room temperature, set on a platter, cover and set them aside. If you do the latter, you can make the cornbread several hours before needed.
Serve them at room temperature, or set them on a baking sheet and warm them at 350 F (175 C) for 5 minutes, and then serve.
Iced Tea Lemonade
Prep. time: 20 minutes Cooking time: a few minutes Makes: 8 servings
3 1/2 cups (875 mL) cold water 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar 2 cups (500 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 8 to 10 large lemons) 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) strongly brewed tea
Lemon wedges for garnish
Place 1 cup (250 mL) of the water and the sugar in a small pot. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Pour this mixture into a large serving jug. Stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) of water, lemon juice and tea. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve; mixture can be made many hours before needed.
To serve, pour the tea/lemonade mixture into ice-filled glasses. Garnish each glass with a lemon wedge and enjoy.
IS THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK
Meaty and tender pork back ribs served with creamy coleslaw, jalapeno cornbread muffins, and pickles. A dish of coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to pork back ribs.
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cayenne pepper 3 large and meaty racks of pork back ribs (each rack about 2 lbs or 907 g) Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) alcoholic or non-alcoholic apple cider Your favourite store-bought or...