Tonight we’re eating boneless country-style pork ribs that were braised and then finished in the oven with a homemade spicy berry barbeque sauce. The ribs were served with artichoke halves stuffed with sauteed cremini mushrooms and grape tomatoes deglazed with raspberry melon vinegar.
T: you want to start us off here tonight?
A: that’s cool, you can start it.
T: ok. uhhh.
A: apparently I can start it! So this was my first attempt at a bbq sauce from scratch and other than it being a little overly vinegary, i think it turned out pretty well.
T: yeah, it was good. It was overly vinegary by such a small margin that it wasn’t a problem at all. I most enjoyed it. How the hay did you make it?
A: I took some apple cider vinegar, some raspberry melon vinegar, a few tbsp of ketchup, honey, fresh pitted cherries, and lots of spices and just reduced them until it was the right consistency. Easy easy. I was disappointed in how dry parts of the ribs were.
T: what makes ribs dry like that?
A: I think with these particular ribs there was hardly any fat present. I used boneless country style pork ribs and there was no fat on the outside of them and very little fat marbled through them so when i braised them, instead of the fat melting into the meat, the meat just dried out. you know, like when you try to stew or braise chicken breasts? it just doesn’t work very well due to the lack of fat present.
T: ahhh, that makes sense. White meat sucks anyway. No biggie. Although, if I remember correctly, white meat won the WWE poll of the week a while back. Is that correct?
A: it’s sad but true. white did win. I guess it’s a health thing, i don’t see what else it could be. anyway, the artichoke could have used like… ten more minutes in the braising liquid too. My cook time was definately askew from what it is when i’m coherent. I had been up for nearly 24 hours when i started making this meal.
T: girl, you gots to get your rest. You crazy stayin up all day and night. Whatchu was doin?
A: I was doin things like making sure the ol’ fam(ily) had health insurance, cuz my silly ass procrastinated with some forms then had to drive back out to BFE and turn them in! oops, and well, you know. I just got started late…er…or early… I dunno any more, with this shift.
T: wowzers. Well, anyways, I thought the bbq sauce was good. The artichoke was really tasty. I don’t think putting it in the oven helped it out, but my god it was tasty anyway. Mmm.
A: it was seasoned differently than i normally do artichokes, and i dug it. and I always love sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes. The ‘choke wasn’t supposed to go into the oven… shit! the ribs weren’t either, but I fell asleep and didn’t get woken up until after seven, and it was already nearly 9 when we got around to eating. If i had fired up the grill it would have been more like 10.
T: how’d you do the artichokes?
A: I poached them in some chicken stock, that was seasoned with sauteed aromatics (celery, onion, and carrots), juniper berries, smokey paprika, garlic, ginger, and some other stuff that i can’t remember. But it was pretty far removed from the crab boil artichokes of old.
T: yeah, totally. And it was soo good. That salad dressing was really good too. I had to drink what was left in my sauce cup when I was done with the choke. What kind of dressing was that, anyway?
A: Bernstein’s Garlic and something Italian Dressing. We’ll post what it is for sure soon. You know something is good when you lick the plate (or in this case, drink from the sauce bowl)
T: Yeah, we haven’t had salad dressing this good in a while it seems like… wait, we haven’t had salads in a while… or artichokes.
A: you haven’t had salads in a while. I ate them all last weekend when you left me, dude! I like the dressing, but I like homemade dressings more i think.
T: what kind of dressing were you using when I was gone?
A: i was switching between the Bernsteins and some bleu cheese dressing.
T: mmm.. bleu cheeze. Ok, well, I rate this meal a 4.27/5. Not quite a 4.28, but close. Honestly, it was the dryness of the pork that was keeping it from doing better.
A: Thats funny! My exact arbitrary rating is 3.27/5! now how were we both thinking the 27 thing? While the flavors of the meal worked wonderfully for me, It just wasn’t cooked very well. The ribs were dry, the artichoke was under cooked, the bbq sauce was still a touch vinegary. I really enjoyed the meal, but I have to deduct a full point for how poorly executed it was.
T: I want to bathe myself in chocolate.
Kwaherini mabibi na mabwana!