Thursday, August 16, 2012

Winging it: the Manly Style of Cooking

By Guest Blogger - Barbara Schwartz

There was a guy once who was cooking dinner for me and had purchased very expensive steaks.

He started throwing all kinds of weird ingredients into a bowl – the morning coffee, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and I don’t remember what else. He proceeded to barbecue the steaks with this concoction. I couldn’t believe it. But the result was so amazing, I married the man.

Cooking in the style of my husband Ric and my friend John requires a free spirit and an open mind. And no recipe. After studying several ideas and ingredients of various recipes as well as remembering what I’ve witnessed my husband throw together in the name of barbecue sauce, I braved the unfamiliar territory of winging it with cooking.

Country-style pork ribs are in the crock pot slowly simmering away.

Measuring nothing (one of the rules of cooking in the manly style of John and Ric), a light rub of salt, pepper and garlic powder coated the ribs, then they were flash-browned on the BBQ. Not only does this step make them pretty, it really adds great flavor.

Plus there is something fun about barbecuing in the morning.

Meanwhile, in the crock pot the brewing sauce was created: half water, half beer for liquid, a splash of coffee (about a cup total of liquid), brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, small amount of BBQ sauce, pepper, garlic, sweet paprika. We’ll see how it goes. Then, coating the ribs with the liquid, all was sealed up for a day of slow simmer.

It’s smelling very good two hours in. Five hours in and I want to lift that lid and taste it. Six and a half hours in I get to lift the lid and taste – yum! Need a second taste. So now back onto the grill, on foil this time as they are falling apart, just to firm them up and dry them up a bit.

Served with some Au Jus from the pot and, well, three thumbs up out of three. Such accolades! I could get used to this! Definitely have to do this again. Now what exactly did I do?

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