Barbecue Ribs

ribs2

Working as a waitress had it’s perks. Besides meeting the man of the house when I was a part time waitress, I was able to watch many different chefs cook and I learned a lot.

If you want the most tender, delicious pork ribs, you have to steam cook them in a bit of water with 2 TBSP of white vinegar. The meat will fall off the bone after you grill them!

Place the ribs on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Fill the bottom of the pan (not touching the meat) with water and 2 TBSP white vinegar.  Place the cover on.

Cook at 250 for an hour and reduce heat to 200 for another hour.

ribs

If grilling right away, slather them in your favorite BBQ sauce (or make your own!!) and grill them until heated through basting more sauce on.

ribs1

If you are cooking them later, let them cool and either place in fridge for a day or two until you are grilling or freeze them (thaw before grilling).

I steamed these yesterday and we had them for dinner tonight. You can see how tender they are!

Pork Chops

I have some secret ingredients I use when making some oven baked pork chops. My kids love them as they are just a tad sweet which enhances the pork flavor.

Place 4 pork chops in a pan, pour 1/2 cup orange juice, 4 Tablespoons soy sauce, 4 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce, sprinkle 1 teaspoon garlic powder over all the chops. Cover and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through.

Sirloin Steak

steak

Sirloin is not the best cut of beef for a steak but you can make it taste like it is.

Sirloin is about 1/3 of the price of a filet cut.  I try to pick one that does not have a lot of fat running through it.  Lay it on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and cover the top with wax paper.  I will then pound it with my metal meat tenderizer the long way and then flip it over and pound it across.  I don’t make it thin but give it a good enough hit to “soften” it.  I will then sprinkle it with meat tenderizer seasoning and leave it for about 2 hours in the fridge.

A half hour before cooking I season the meat with montreal steak seasoning nicely coated on both sides.  Light the grill and cook it to a medium rare.

There is never a piece left over in our house!!

sirloin2

ready to pound out

sirloin

montreal steak seasoning on 1/2 hour before grilling

steak

perfectly medium rare and delicious!!

Top Round Roast Beef

Image

A few years back a chef friend of mine told me how to cook the “perfect” top round roast beef to slice for sandwiches.  Today we had 22 people for lunch and roast beef sandwiches was on the menu along with birthday cake for our daughter for dessert.  This meat was perfectly cooked and everyone came back for seconds.

I have followed his advice to the letter and our beef always comes out perfect.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees

Rinse the roast, rub it lightly with olive oil and season it heavily with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary.  Press the seasoning into the meat turning it so you can get underneath it and on the sides.

Put the roast in a roasting pan sitting on top of a wire rack so it’s not sitting on the bottom of the pan. Add approximately 2 cups of water, 2 beef bouillon cubes, sprinkle a little of all the seasonings above into the juice.

Place the roast in the 500 degree oven for 20 minutes exactly. 

After 20 minutes turn the heat down to 300 and cook for 10 minutes for a rare beef, 20 minutes for medium rare, and 30 for medium.

**Note:  You want it on the rare side for sandwiches because the hot au jus you will dip the meat in before making the sandwich will cook the thin slices to whatever temperature you want. I usually stick the meat thermometer in when I take it out to make sure it’s under 120 degrees as I want it more rare.**

Take it out and let it sit until you can handle it without it being too hot.  Slice it thin.  Store in a baggie in the fridge when cool until ready to use.

Drain the Au Jus from the roasting pan and store that also.

When ready to serve, heat the Au Jus up to almost boiling and dip the meat into it briefly for rare or longer for a more cooked lunch meat.  Serve on a roll and put a spoonful of the au jus on the roll for a scrumptious homemade deli lunch!!  We also eat the leftovers on a sandwich the next day cold.  YUM

Image

Image

Thursday Braciola (Braciole)

I know most Italian families had Sunday “gravy” nights with pasta and sauce.  For some reason my Sicilian grandmother always had the macaroni, gravy and braciola on Thursdays.  In our house it’s any time I have the ingredients.  This morning, after feeding our animals on the farm, packing the kids lunches and in between getting myself ready for work and taking the kids to school, I quickly threw together a perfect dish to slow cook while we are gone.  That is our Braciola.

Braciole is a thin slice of meat that is rolled with various stuffings.  In our house it is always beef.  I prefer the thin flank steak but will use thin top round when needed which is what I had today.

The picture below is from the last time I made it (ummm I admit it was last week but we LOVE it so it’s ok we are having it again) plus I forgot to freeze the second package I bought!!

Image

You can tell just by looking at that picture how wonderfully tender the meat gets and the stuffing is thin, garlicky (is that a word??) and just enough so you only need a vegetable to go with your meal.

This is such an easy throw together and forget it until after work meal that it fits into most busy schedules (like mine tonight with hockey and softball practice).  And my 71 year old mother is coming home from her road trip (living like a gypsy with her 71 year old long time friend who is also widowed but that’s a WHOLE other story!!) and she is coming for dinner so I wanted to have some “comfort” food for her after her months of travel, relaxation and non home cooked meals.

Here is how I make our Braciole

Image

brac 2 brac3

mix Italian seasoned bread crumbs, salt/pepper, minced garlic, one egg and a splash of milk and spread it thin on the meat as it makes stuffing as it’s cooking. I cover with tomato sauce and slow bake about 6 hours on 220 (you can reduce it to 185 and cook longer if needed).  I have my own tomato sauce I make and can but you can use store bought.

I know the measurements are not on here as it depends on the size of the meat I purchased but I will list the ingredients and you can easily make it eyeballing it to what you will need for the cuts of your braciole

Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Salt/Pepper

Minced garlic

one egg

splash of milk

Mix it all together to a consistency of a regular “stuffing”.  Add bread crumbs/milk as needed to make it thicker or to thin it if you added to many bread crumbs

Lay the meat out and spread a thin layer of the stuffing mixture on top.  Roll the meat and tie it or you can use toothpicks if you don’t have meat string.  Toss in a pan with a little garlic flavored oil or regular olive oil and brown it all around.

Lay it in a backing pan and cover with sauce.  Put it in the oven at 200 degrees for 6 hours or 185 for longer.

Come in the door after a long day, smell the wonderful aroma, get a salad made or any other type of vegetable, macaroni if you want and get ready for dinner!!!