Sunday, February 19, 2012

Slow Cooked BBQ Pork Ribs

Photo: Mina "I Have a Camera" Kang

So, I spend way too much time on pinterest for someone with a penis. It's what the Food Network used to be for me. I used to get home from work and turn on the Food Network, watching until I became so hungry that I finally decided to make whatever I saw on the most recent show. This often involved trips to the grocery store for specialty items, while I was hungry. It was a bad scene. Now that I'm older and more experienced in the kitchen, I have figured out how to mold recipes to what ingredients I have instead of going to the grocery store every time I cook. Eventually I will learn to stay off pinterest while hungry...eventually.

I've run across a recipe for pulled pork in a slow cooker using a can of root beer and a bottle of BBQ sauce. As a lover of BBQ (STL style-it's what would happen if KC style and Carolina style had an illegitimate child), I was intrigued. This isn't the recipe that was on pinterest. That recipe is very easy and involves adding the pork and contents of the can and bottle to the slow cooker and letting it sit on low for about 6 hours. It's not that this recipe is hard, but I believe in making my own sauce because I am not a communist, or fascist, or whomever it is that doesn't make their own BBQ sauce...actually, I think it's the Jacobites.

Making your own sauce is easy, and has the benefit of allowing you to get it to taste exactly how you want it. It can be sweet, tangy, hot, or all of the above. Your own sauce also has the advantage of impressing the living hell out of everyone who asks you what sauce you used. Most people will look at you like you just told them you just confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson, which I don't understand because it is SO EASY to make BBQ sauce. If you don't know what the Higgs boson is, don't worry, it isn't an ingredient in the sauce.


2 packages boneless pork ribs (price varies per package but averages out to $3.55 per package)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil ($3.49 for 17 oz.)


3/4 cup Ketchup ($1.19 for 32 oz.)
4 tblsp Mustard ($0.69 for 14 oz.)
4 tblsp Balsamic vinegar ($1.99 for 16.9 oz.)
3 tblsp Molasses ($1.89 for 16 oz.-specialty item that may no longer be available)
1 tblsp Chili powder ($0.99 for 4 oz.)
1 Onion diced ($1.49 for 3 lbs.)
Pepper to taste
1 tsp Garlic salt ($0.99 for 4 oz.)
Crushed red pepper to taste ($0.99 for 4 oz.)
1 can root beer ($2.29 for 12 cans)

First prep the ribs by browning them in a pan. Add the olive oil to the pan and set heat to medium high. Salt and pepper the ribs and place them in the pan for a few minutes per side until they are all brown and lovely. Don't overcrowd the pan.

Once the ribs are browned, put everything into the slow cooker and set it on low. It will not be pretty looking but you don't have to stir it up, everything will meld together eventually.

 Find something to occupy your time for 6 hours. I suggest learning to knit with no instruction whatsoever. Once you have failed at that, you can join a knitting forum and complain about how impossible learning to knit on your own is. If anyone offers assistance, kindly point out that they are being condescending. Whilst kindly pointing out the condescension of others, use a significant amount of profanity and threats of physical violence. When you are banned from the forum, join up again under another email address and threaten the families of the moderators. When this new account is banned and your I.P. address logged, the ribs should be about done. P.S. Don't do any of this.

If for some reason you do not have molasses lying around you could substitute brown sugar or honey. The sauce will taste a bit different, but still be excellent. If you don't have a slow cooker or crock pot, you can use your oven and an oven safe pot. Make sure an oven safe lid is on the pot. Set the oven to 200 degrees. When finished the pot is hot, so don't try to remove it with your face. Use oven mitts.

I was worried that these ribs would taste like root beer, but they do not. Cooking them for as long as this recipe calls for makes them literally fall apart. If you want to serve with the sauce you made, you can empty the sauce into a blender (best to wait until the sauce has cooled) blend it up and serve on the side or poured over the ribs. Even if you don't use the sauce on the ribs, they are plenty flavorful. We had a potluck the other night, and these ribs disappeared. I assume people ate them, as they were a bit solid for evaporation.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

I have been away for a bit, guest posting over at Meg the Grand about sewing. It had nothing to do with cooking, but I did cook. This is what I made, and they did not last long. One of the sewers literally inhaled these. I say literally, because after eating a few of them she placed one in her mouth and inhaled sharply. She then started making frantic gestures that we assumed were choking panic signals. It turns out she just wanted more cinnamon rolls crammed into her mouth. It's how she wanted to go, and I respect that.

Today is Superbowl day. I don't care. I do not follow football and neither does Megan, unless it's the Steelers. I used to watch the Superbowl for the commercials, but now you can view those online even before the Superbowl. Still, there are a lot of people who have parties and make massive amounts of food for this happening. I'm all for that. Most of the food made tends to be salty in nature. Things like pigs in a blanket, cheeseburger dip, nacho platters, and-for the more discerning pallet-deep fried sea salt. I thought it would be nice to put up something both sweet and insanely easy to make. Let me repeat, easy. If you have just suffered serious brain injury, this is the recipe for you.


1 tube croissant roll dough ($1.29)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter ($1.99 for 16 oz.)
Sugar to taste ($2.59 for 4 lbs.)
Cinnamon to taste ($0.99 for 2.5 oz.)
1 cup powdered sugar ($1.49 for 2 lbs.)
1 1/2 tablespoons hot water

I made a mention in my last post using croissant roll dough about how much I dislike this stuff. Well, here I am posting about it again. Yeah. It works for this recipe, and making actual croissant dough is a pain in the ass. So, preheat the oven to 350. Take the dough out of the tube and line up 4 of the croissants side by side. Pinch all the seams closed, then flip and do the same to the other side.

Roll out the jointed triangles to 1/4". Now, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small dish. Coat one side of the dough with the melted butter. Not all the melted butter, just enough to get the cinnamon and sugar to stick. Now, get the cinnamon and sugar to stick by putting it on the dough. Use however much you want. If you like a sweeter cinnamon roll, use more sugar. I would go with about 2 1/2 tablespoons (as I like the icing to bring the sweetness).

Roll up the dough into a tube and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Now do the same to the rest of the dough from the tube.

Put the rolls in a mini muffin tin and pop them in the oven for 15 minutes. If you don't use Aldi roll dough, follow the baking instructions on the can.

Photo credit: Mina Kang (Korean girl with a camera)

While the rolls are baking (15 minutes) you can make the icing. Mix the other 2 tablespoons of butter and powdered sugar in a bowl. Add the water 1 tablespoon and then 1 teaspoon at a time until creamy and workable. I like to dip the rolls into the icing when they are done. You can either wait for the rolls to cool or dip them while warm to have the icing melt into the roll. 

Photo credit: that Korean girl I mentioned earlier

That's it. The first time I made these they lasted less than an hour with Megan and I. The next time, they lasted a few minutes. We keep buying more roll dough just to make these.