Lazy Day BBQ Pork Ribs

I love smoked ribs or BBQ ribs, it’s just always a Caveman staple, but they can be a little work, especially if you want them to turn out tender and fall off the bone. I got a little lazy last weekend, we were out at a local street fair and when I got home I just didn’t feel like putting in the work so I decided to braise the ribs, kind of a set it and forget it, for those of you who know what I am talking about. It’s a great way to really get those ribs tender and impose some flavors into them.

Braising alone just wouldn’t cut it for this caveman, I still had to fire up the grill so after they were braised I slathered on a BBQ sauce and gave them a nice crust before serving them. I all this my lazy ribs.

Hope you enjoy!

Check out www.cookingwithcaveman.com for more recipes and info

Braised Ribs 1

What you will need:

  • 2 racks of St Louis Style pork ribs
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cups BBQ sauce (sweet and spicy BBQ sauce below)
  • Salt and pepper

Braising LiquidBBQ sauce

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • I cup brown sugar
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. white pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup brown sugarOblong_disposable_aluminum_Foil_Pan[1]
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce

 Prep

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce: Combine all the ingredients in to a small sauce pan and then heat under low until warm and well blended. Give it a taste and if it’s what you are looking for let it sit until you are ready.

Cook

I like to use those disposable aluminum pans for this part of it, easy to use and no cleaning involved. If you have a braising pan more power to you.

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Remove the silverskin from the ribs, this is important so that the flavors can penetrate the meat and reduce the chances of it being tough. To see how check out my blog on Memphis ribs

Combine all the braising ingredients in a pan with the ribs and cover them. Put them in the oven and let them cook for about 3-4 hours.

Caveman Tip*** If you let them go too long in the oven they will just shred as you pull them from the pan and you will not be able to put them on the grill for that great BBQ flavor.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Preheat your grill: I like to turn all the burners on high and get that grill smoking hot. You want to crisp up the outside not cook the ribs.

Caveman Tip*** You can obtain that same crust on the outside of the ribs by using your broiler if you don’t want to use the BBQ.

Check the ribs, they should be nice and tender but not disintegrate when you pull them from the pan. At this point you will want to let them slightly cool on the outside so you can handle them. Pat them dry with a paper towel and then liberally coat them with the BBQ sauce.

Once your BBQ is good and hot, put them on the grill for a minute or two per side until you get that caramelization from the BBQ sauce and you are ready to go.

Slice them up and enjoy.

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Home Alone BBQ Pork Chop

This week the cavewoman is out of town for work so looks like I am cooking for one this week. Usually this means I tend to be less healthy since I am only cooking for myself but now that the holidays are over we are trying to cut back and drop some of winter weight. With the healthy frame of mind, for tonight at least, I thought about a quick and easy BBQ pork chop dish with a bitter green salad and asparagus. It turned out pretty well the sweetness from the pork balanced well with the bitter greens, and I was able to use pull double duty on the pork marinade as a salad dressing.  For other recipes like this visit www.cookingwithcaveman.com

What you will need: O

  • 2 Center Cut Pork Chops
  • 1 Cup Italian dressing (recipe below or use store bought)
  • 2 Cups BBQ sauce (recipe below or use store bought)
  • Salt and Pepper

Pork Marinade

  • 1 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Cup of olive oil
  • ½ tbls. garlic powder
  • ½ tbls. onion powder
  • ½ tbls. honey or white sugar
  • 1 tbls. dried oregano
  • ½ tbls. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoons salt

Quick BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchupBraungerPorkChops1[1]
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbls. Molasses
  • 1 tbls. Yellow mustard
  • 1 tbls. Chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbls. Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)

 

Prep

BBQ Sauce: Combine all the ingredients into a small sauce pan and heat on low for 5-10 minutes until the ingredients are well blended. Let it cool until you are ready to use.

Pork Marinade (Italian Dressing): Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Use half for the marinade and reserve the other half for the salad by covering well and storing in the fridge.

Caveman Tip*** `While you are prepping dinner and getting things ready or just puttering around the house doing chores just drop the pork in a zip lock back with the marinade and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to cook, I like to let it go 45 to 60 minutes

Preheat your grill: First make sure you clean the grates and then oil so that the chops will not stick. Turn your grill up to full temp, close the lid and let it get hot for about 10 minutes.O

While your grill is getting hot pull the pork out of the marinade and pat it dry. Now liberally coat it with the BBQ sauce and let it sit until your grill is ready.

When you grill is good and hot, the temp gage should read 700 degrees or better, place your pork on the grill directly over the heat source. Close the lid and let the pork site for 2 minutes and then turn them 90 degrees and close the lid again. This should leave those great grill marks you are looking for. After 2 more minutes flip the chops over close the lid and let them sit on the grill for 2 minutes. After the two minutes is up rotate them 90 degrees and close the lid. You will want them to sit another (you guessed it) 2 minutes.

At this point you will want to temp your chops depending on the thickness they may be done. You are looking for 145 degrees. If they are ready pull them and let them rest, if not put them on the top rack and turn your burners to low. You will continue to cook until you reach 145 degrees, it should not take long.

Let the chops rest for 5 minutes or so and serve them with your favorite sides. I just so happened to make a bitter salad and asparagus.

Enjoy!

B & G Diner

Restaurant Reviews By:   CavewomanB&G pic

Restaurant:  B&G Café

Location:  Gilbert, AZ, (roadside)

Day & time visited: Saturday Morning, 9am

Reservations:  No such thing

We woke up on a Saturday morning and instead of our usual Burrito Shack run, Caveman was in the mood to try a place (again) that we had tried a long time ago…  During a time when our favorite breakfast spot on the planet had recently been closed – Bongo’s –and we were on our mission to fulfill its greatness.  Being that this is no easy feat and that our breakfast mark had been set quite high…we decided to take another look at B&G’s.  Besides, the first time we went there – we were both hung over!  Shhhhh.

Being that this local spot is only about 10 minutes down the road, we jumped in our jeep and were there in a flash.  Located in what looks like a little deserted strip mall, this place sits next to a cactus feed store and you wouldn’t think by the outside that delicious soul food cooking is brewing’ on the inside…

After “off-roading” behind the alley to get to the parking lot…**Caveman turned too early on Ray Rd. and put us behind the restaurant. Instead of admitting that maybe we needed to turn around…he found a welcoming hole opening in the wall, which of course our Rubicon could easily fit through… Right?  Needless to say, I pulled my seatbelt on tighter and became certain we could not fit through the hole. But what does he do? He continues cruising forward, toward the hole, determined to make it work.  I had my doubts, my fears…I even held my ‘oh-shit handle’ and before I could say a prayer – Caveman maneuvered beautifully down a sufficient awkward hill with a bump to top it off, and through the wall opening we went.  We parked, and it’s time for breakfast!

We walked in to an “older style café” atmosphere with mostly booths and a few tables. It is not a large space and probably wouldn’t seat many people at once.  The wait-staff was sharing all the tables in the restaurant and you could see the cooks prepping food behind a window.  B&G’s gave off a friendly family vibe, like everyone knew everyone, and we were the outsiders walking in.  We were immediately welcomed and sat ourselves in a booth near the wall. We didn’t even have to wait. Who doesn’t like that?  A friendly woman greeted us and promptly brought Caveman his tea and coffee for me.  The menus were aged to say the least and hung from a hook on the wall with a homemade hole punched in them.  They were bent and old, but located right at our table, so we started browsing the choices.

The menu was simple really, offering up many breakfast classics.  Any avid breakfast eater could find something to order at B&G’s.  They offered things like biscuits and gravy, to any style of egg combo including omelets, chorizo and even pancakes.  If you’re a skillet guy or gal, you’re outta luck.

It took Caveman exactly 1.2 seconds to figure out what he wanted because that Country Fried Steak and eggs was calling his name.  As for me – I knew I wanted eggs and potatoes, and some bacon but I also wanted biscuits and gravy!!  I have “decision making” issues sometimes…what woman doesn’t??  To my luck – I was able to get 1 egg, 1 slice of bacon, and 1 side of potatoes from the kid’s menu…YEP! She let me do that, but mainly because I was also ordering that side of biscuits and gravy. And boy I’m glad I did!!  My breakfast was the perfect size.  Our friendly waitress jotted down our orders and to my surprise, I recognized her from a newspaper clipping on a nearby wall.  Along with what looked like the cook and seems like they might be family.  And maybe even the owners? The article explains that B&G Cafe received a “best of the best” award in 2010 for best new breakfast restaurant.  Hmmm, pretty motivating.

We didn’t have to wait very long before our food arrived.  Just long enough for our stomachs to start growling.  As she set the plates down, I noticed that mine and Caveman’s plates are portion appropriate…Not too huge to clean our plates without feeling gut guilt. **Caveman would disagree, and even try to tell you that the portions were “small” but from this Cavewoman’s opinion – you will get full. And you won’t feel like you have to go to the gym afterwards.

I took my first bite and it was clear to me that the breakfast potatoes on both our plates were real potatoes! Sliced in house and even seasoned well, with a teeny perfect crunch on the outside.  You’d be surprised how many breakfast places open up a bag of frozen potatoes, heat then up and throw them on your plate without even adding salt and pepper! YUCK!!  I had ordered my eggs over easy and my plan was to throw my egg on my potatoes and let the runny part ooze onto my potatoes making for a nice combination of savory tastings!  What a relief to me that my plan worked!  My egg was cooked correctly!  Not over hard, not sunny side up, but perfectly over easy, just as I wanted!  I threw that on my homemade potatoes and tore up the bacon and made myself a little “messy.” At this point, I’m very pleased with the flavor of my breakfast so let’s talk about caveman’s chicken fried steak.

As I mentioned, it was not a frozen patty!  It wasn’t larger than the plate but about 2 fist sizes large.  It was covered in the same generous amount of sausage gravy as my biscuits.  The country fried steak in itself was delicious.  It offered nice texture with the gravy and finished with a perfect crunch.  All the flavors together were satisfying enough to not add salt and pepper.  Overall – we’re happy we came back to B&G’s.  Chicken Fried Steak on Caveman’s level is hard to find.

As we’re eating, both Caveman and I are picking up this unidentified zest in the gravy……hmmm, what is that? Poblano pepper I suggested?  Is it green chile?  Then we look closer in the gravy and we see these little pieces of green spice. We know it’s something… We know we like it, we’ve just never had that in our gravy before, and so we’re a little puzzled.  We continue to taste and identify what this zing in our gravy is; when not to my surprise – Caveman, with his excellent palate, whips out – Jalapeno!  It’s Jalapeno.  My reaction was no …. Is it?  Another bite, another delight…Yep. It’s jalapeno.  It’s good.   Just then, our pleasant waitress comes back to check on us.  So we ask…”is this jalapeno in your gravy?? It’s goooooood!”  She confirms that the green spicy zest we have tasted is in fact jalapeno, and she seems very pleased that we like it.  And we did like it.  The gravy had the right consistency and flavor, and the jalapeno makes you want to take another bite.  It also substitutes the need to add extra pepper, if you’re a pepper person.

Both Caveman and I cleaned our plates and had a great breakfast.  I must say it was unexpected, because last time we went, it was not on our radar or priority list to come back.  Well, we must not have been paying attention!  We know without a doubt, we would love to come back to B&G Café.  You can’t just go anywhere and find tasty, homemade soul food…for the price we did this morning.  Our entire bill with drinks was less than $19.  Between the service and overall experience, it made shell out about $7 in tip!

 On a scale of 1-10, 1 being poor, 5 being mediocre, and 10 being the best experience I can describe, here is how I rate the following for B&G’s Cafe:

Atmosphere – 4     Service -8     Appetizers- n/a     Food-9    Drinks -7

Food Storage Tips

If there is one thing that I really hate, it’s buying an ingredient to cook a meal with and then watching it spoil and go to waste within a couple of days; usually because I don’t have anything to use it for again. We all love using fresh ingredients and definitely know that they make meals hit that next level. So here are a few staple items that I pick up at the store every week that go with a lot of the meals I cook. Here are Caveman’s Tips on how to make those ingredients last long enough to get your money’s worth out of them.

Onions:

Onions are an item I use in a lot of dishes, soups, sauces, rice, other sides and salads. I like yellow onions as they get that sweet caramelized flavor when sautéed.  I will also pick up a red onion, as I prefer them in the raw state in my Mexican dishes. A taco night or burrito night is pretty common in my house, it makes for a quick, easy and tasty meal after work.

 

I tend to not over buy onions, but if stored in a dark cool dry area they can last weeks. The only drawback is that most recipes only end up using about a half an onion. What I like to do is chop the whole onion, use what I need, and then store the remainder in an airtight container in the fridge. It will easily last several days, as I mentioned most of my meals include an onion in one way or another.

Another option is the shallot, it is a smaller version of the onion and a bit more potent, but when sautéed with oil and salt, it also turns sweet. The thing I like about the shallot is that they are smaller and will allow you to use only what you need without wasting half. They are a bit more expensive though. Shallots should be stored in the same way as the onion which is a dark cool dry environment such as a panty; you don’t want them to start sprouting.

Fresh and Easy sells onions and shallots in mesh bags; this works good to hang in your kitchen or pantry which stops any mold from accumulating on the bottom of the onion. Just screw a small hook in your pantry.

Celery:

Celery is another one of those items that adds great flavor and texture to soups, sauces, rice, side dishes, salads, and I just eat it as a snack. (I know celery is not “traditional” caveman style but come on guys! I want to be able to enjoy life with my cavewoman and delicious food well into my 70’s & 80’s…I don’t want to die of a heart attack at 50! So, occasionally, snacking on celery at work or just sitting around the house isn’t such a bad idea.  Just sayin’…)

Now, I like to buy the celery that has been trimmed, washed and packaged (you will still want to wash prior to use).  This celery seems to last me at least 7 days in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. I have bought this at most grocery stores.

This type of celery tends to be a little more expensive than just the normal celery bunches so if you are on a budget, and believe me there are weeks the caveman is on a budget, pick those up instead.  Make sure you look through them for condition and cleanliness.  Do not just grab the first one available; usually the grocery stores will put the new stock in the back so don’t be afraid to dig in there.  Look for really green and healthy-looking celery and particularly look at the leaves.  You want to find celery where the leaves haven’t tuned brown and the stalks aren’t bruised. You want bright, fresh, and green. Grab those.

When you get home you need to decide how to store them.  The method I have read about simply said to wrap the celery in foil and store it in the vegetable drawer. Me personally, I don’t want to waste the tin foil, that stuff is not cheap. I like to clean, cut, and trim my celery when I get home.  Then, I place it in a jar or plastic pitcher of water as seen in the picture. (I pilfered this picture off the internet as I currently have the prepackaged celery in my refrigerator.) You want to then cover the top with a plastic bag, (one you brought home from the grocery store will do just fine) and put it over the top of the pitcher and seal with string or a rubber band. This will allow the celery to last at least a week.  Just pull off the plastic when you need celery, and re-attach to store.

Carrots:

Again, carrots are another one of those items that adds great flavor to soups, sauces, rice, side dishes, salads and I eat it as a snack. Carrots are very versatile and will store for over a week in the fridge. I prefer to buy the packages of pre-cut and peeled carrots, they are just that much easier to work with and make great snacks.

If you want to go the raw unprocessed carrots I have heard this is the best method. You will want to trim all but 2” of the green off the top of the carrot, do not peel or cut anything else on the carrot. Put the carrots in an airtight container and store in the vegetable drawer of the fridge, they will last at least a week.

Mushrooms:

I never used to like mushrooms but recently, I have really acquired a taste for them. They add that deep earthy flavor to salads or a sweet mild earth flavor when sautéed over chicken or steak. I really like using them in sauces and gravy for steak, chicken, and mashed potatoes. I even like making stuffed mushrooms as a tasty appetizer. (Check out my Chicken with Mushroom Gravy recipe or the Stroganoff that I really enjoy.)

There a many types of mushrooms used for cooking, and I prefer the portabella. It typically has an earthy meaty flavor but if you prefer a milder flavor, try your standard white mushroom. (I do typically keep a package of dried shitake mushrooms in the panty, because I really love Asian foods, I can rehydrate them as necessary when I cook an Asian dish)

Keeping mushrooms can be tricky but if done right they can be stored up to a week.  Choose those mushrooms with a firm texture and even color with tightly-closed caps. If the gills are showing, it’s an indication of age, and they are probably past their prime. Discolored, broken and damaged mushrooms with soft spots should be avoided. I prefer to store them in a brown paper bag.  I usually get one form the store when I do my weekly shopping trip.  Do not wash them!  In fact, pat dry if they are wet from the store, put a layer of mushrooms in the bottom of the brown paper bag, don’t overcrowd them to the point they are all touching.  If you have more, place a paper towel down to separate the layers. Loosely fold the top of the paper bag as you want the air to be able to get in the bag and place in the crisper section of the fridge. If you picked good ones they should last. **Caveman Tip: never wash mushrooms, they are like a sponge and will absorb liquid and become soggy.  Just brush the dirt off with either a soft vegetable brush or a paper towel

Not only have I given some insight to the things any regular person should have in their fridge on a weekly basis, but I’ve also shared how to keep them fresh and get the most bang for your buck.  I really hope this helps.  Feel free to let us know by posting your thoughts.

 

 

Corn Relish (Dee-lish!)

What you will need:

  • 6 ears of fresh corn, peeled
  • 2 large tomatoes, core then grill (see below)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup total red, & green bell pepper (I like to get the bag of mixed baby bell peppers, it’s easier to use than the small ones so I don’t have to waste half a large one)
  • ¼ can black beans rinsed (I typically make the relish with tacos or burritos so I can use the remaining beans with that dish)
  • 1 Jalapeno finely chopped seeds and veins removed (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare:

Peel 6 ears of fresh corn.  Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Core 2 large tomatoes, slit an X in the bottom and coat those with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

We love to grill anything we can to get the Caveman flavor.   So heat up your grill and lightly grill both the corn and the tomatoes.  Turn the corn frequently (we do not want blackened corn, just lightly grilled).  The tomatoes will only take a few minutes just enough to heat them up but not make them mushy.  This adds a little depth of flavor. Once grilled, remove both items and set aside to let them cool.  (Tomatoes can be put into refrigerator)

I always prefer to use fresh corn in any dish, ears of corn are cheap and add great texture to any meal.

 Assemble:

Shave the corn from the cob and put into bowl.  In a separate bowl, put your chopped red onion and coat with 4tbsp red wine vinegar and let rest for 10 minutes.

With corn, mix in the bell peppers and jalapeno. Chop the tomatoes and add to mixture.  Mix ¼ cup of black beans and stir.  Combine the red onion mixture into corn relish mixture and stir.  Add salt and pepper.  Don’t forget to taste your food and make adjustments as necessary!

Drizzle a light amount of balsamic vinegar over the mixture and stir. Top with cilantro and additional salt & pepper, if needed.