Spare Ribs

My grand-mother’s spare-ribs recipe. Super tender, sweet, sticky and delicious. It has been a staple of family dinners for years.

Also a recipe that tends to make people go “WTF??” when they read the ingredient list. But I swear, it is delicious and quite hard to mess up. Look for sales on the ribs and give it a try!

Ingredients
3 family sized packs of ribs (about 3 kg)
3 cups of brown sugar
2 liter of Pepsi or Coke*
1 table spoon Worcestershire sauce
3 table spoon Tabasco
1 table spoon soy sauce
ingredients

***

1. Cut the meat in manageable chunks. I like to keep mine quite substantial, but an argument can be made to cut each segment off or by groups of two bones.
chunks

2. Sear the ribs until some color is obtained on both sides.
sear

3. Transfer the seared chunks to a large stock pot. Add the brown sugar, Tabasco, soy sauce and Worcestershire.
sugar

4. Pour the entire bottle of cola over the meat (the meat must be mostly covered).

* Which brand of cola is open for debate, with Pepsi adding a slightly more lemony taste to the result. However, make sure you take the normal version, made with sugar and not with aspartame as the diet version will ruin anything it touches.
cola

5. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 2-3 hours, or until the meat is cooked and the bones start falling off. Then uncover and allow the sauce to reduce for at least 30 more minutes.
simmer

6. Serve warm. The ribs will freeze well if kept with their cooking liquid and reheated in a pot (bonus : the fat will rise to the surface as the liquid cools allowing you to remove some of it).
serve

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Pulled Pork – sauce

I have been playing with alternative sauces for the Pulled Pork recipe I posted a while back. The original was a bit too acid for my taste. This is my new favorite sauce for this use..,

Ingredients
3 jalapenos, seeds removed, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoon of the dry rub used for the pork
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt

ingredients

***

1. In a sauce pot, heat the olive oil then add the onions and jalapenos. Cook until the onions are translucent.
sweat

2. Add the tomatoes, canned tomatoes, vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, reserved spices and honey. Simmer until the sauce has reduced and the tomatoes start falling apart.
omatoes

3. Blend until no piece of vegetable remains. Add salt to taste. Mix with the meat to taste.
blend

Spaghetti sauce

My mother’s spaghetti sauce recipe, to be precise. It’s thick, filled with vegetables and perfect for nights I don’t feel like cooking. I usually make this in the summer when the vegetables are cheap and plentiful, but I was out so here we are. I usually use two zucchini, but I had to do three grocery stores to find the one I have. You can add more vegetables (my mother adds mushrooms) or different meats, as you prefer.

A food processor is your friend to cut all the vegetables, or plan ahead and have lots of time if cutting by hand. Don’t be scared by the ingredient list! it all makes sense, I promise. I tend to err on the side of “more vegetables” so those quantities are quite adjustable.

Ingredients
1½ lbs ground beef
1 cup onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
Celery + Zucchini to taste
1 regular sized bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce
1 can Tomato Sauce (20oz)
1 can whole or diced tomatoes (20oz)
1 big can tomato juice
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup green bell pepper
2 to 4 tbsp HP sauce
2 tbsp Heinz 57 sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
A few drops Tabasco
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp Sauge
1 tsp Thym
1/4 tsp Marjolaine
1/4 tsp Mixed spices
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup red peppers (sweet or hot)

ingredients

Instructions
1. Heat some oil at the bottom of the pot and cook the onions and garlic until fragrant. Add the meat and cook until mostly browned.

2 Add the carrots and celery. Stir in for a minute or two.
meatcarrots

3. Add the Zucchini. Mix well and wait until they start turning soft before the next step.
zucchini

4. Add the bell peppers.
bell-peppers

5. Add the can of tomatoes (with the liquid)
tomatoes

6. Add the tomato sauce, tomato juice and the bottle of chili. Mix well.
juice

7. Add the spices. The sugar is to cancel the acidity of the canned tomatoes. Feel free to skip it if your tomatoes don’t have any acid after taste.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
spices

8. Shimmer on low heat for 3½ – 4 hours. Find something to watch on tv and stir the sauce during the commercial breaks (personal timing trick)

9. Divide into containers and freeze.
containers