My college boyfriend, who I’ll call George, was studying to become an architect. However, had he pursued it, I truly believe he would have been a damn fine chef. George was a whiz in the kitchen. He was master at creating simple, tasty dishes on a slim budget. George could take a boring, frozen pizza, pile on his own freshly made toppings, and turn it into a gourmet meal.
One of George’s signature dishes was his short ribs. He’d dump them in a crock pot, pour in a bottle of barbecue sauce, and cook them on low for eight hours. They came out so tender the meat fell off the bone. Neither of us had access to an outdoor grill at the time, but George’s ribs sure satisfied our yen for barbecue.
Over the years I’ve tweaked his recipe, ever so slightly. These days, with food prices on the rise, short ribs are like gold. However, their ugly cousin, the back rib, is cheaper and flavorful. They also work nicely in a crock pot.
I simply stack the ribs in and add a little barbecue sauce between the layers. I’ll then add a little sauce on the top. The sauce becomes watery as it cooks, so I only use a quarter to half a bottle. Then I turn the pot on low and cook for seven to eight hours. I also check them while they’re cooking. If the meat on top gets a little dry I simply spoon some of the sauce from the bottom of the pot over it. Then, once the ribs are cooked, I’ll pour on a little more fresh sauce when I plate them.
I like to serve mine with scalloped potatoes or baked beans. Or both. Some people like corn on the cob and mashed potatoes. Or you may wish to try grandmother’s green bean recipe. Whichever way you choose, it’s a nice recipe for those who don’t have access to an outdoor grill.
If you like ribs and barbeque then be sure to check out the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook for delicious historic barbeque style recipes.
from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook
The back rib. Some people may think it’s the ugly cousin of the short rib, but with a little creativity they can be delicious. This historic recipe seemed daunting at first, then a friend suggested attaching the ribs together with wooden toothpicks or skewers instead of sewing them together. It worked. It made the dish much easier to prepare, and the results were positively yummy.
CROWN ROAST OF BACK RIBS
1 1/2 lbs. back ribs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups soft bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasonings
Rub back ribs with salt. Mix remaining ingredients to form dressing. Sew ends of ribs together to resemble a crown. Place stuffing inside of ribs and bake in 350F oven for 2-3 hours or until tender. Makes 4 servings.
Ribs can be tacked together with wooden toothpicks or toothpicks or skewers. (Do not use plastic.) After cooking, allow the ribs to rest before removing the toothpicks. Three slices of bread, with crusts removed and cut into cubes, can be also be used to make the dressing. You may also add chopped celery, nuts, or mushrooms.
Presenting another delicious historic recipe from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook that still tastes great today. I tested the recipe with white bread, as it was popular in Rosie’s time. However, I’m pretty sure it would taste just as good with whole wheat or multigrain bread, or whatever bread you may happen to have.
CELERY STUFFED SPARERIBS
1 side spareribs (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup diced salt pork or bacon fat
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups soft bread cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Fry the salt pork until crisp, then remove the pieces. Cook the onions in the fat for a few minutes, add the crisp salt pork, celery and bread cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the spareribs over the dressing in baking pan, sprinkle the outside with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and rub with flour. Place pan in 350• F oven uncovered and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until ribs are tender. Yield: 4 servings.
Modern adaptation: Sliced bacon can be substituted for salt pork. (Bacon fat is another name for bacon grease.) Chop 4 to 6 slices of bacon and fry in a skillet or frying pan. Add onions and continue preparing the dressing as instructed in the original recipe. To help keep the dressing from getting too dry add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock. Once the spareribs are placed in the baking dish decrease salt to 1 teaspoon, or, for more zing, use 1 teaspoon of celery salt. Bake as directed in the original recipe.