Monthly Archives: October 2011

Pork Ribs Part 2: Fall Off The Bone Is Overcooked!

indoor-ribs11As a BBQ and Grilling enthusiast I am often times told by friends they know how to cook the most awesome ribs.  Many times their description of the meal includes the declaration their ribs are “so tender they fall right off the bone.”   They are eager to share the super secret family recipe with me at the drop of a hat.  More often than not the recipe includes some form of par-boiling ribs.  I’m not a spare rib snob, like some of my friends, I don’t mind using the oven to get a nice finished rib.  As a matter of fact they can come out pretty tasty.  But under no circumstances are pans of boiling water involved.  And just for the record ribs that fall off the bone aren’t tender…they’re overcooked.

A bite of ribs should come off the bone clean with just a little resistance from the meat. If you’ve cooked them so much the bone slides out of the rack of ribs then you’ve cooked them too much, that’s not tender it’s pork that’s close to mush.  Now, I’m all about cooking food the way you and your guests want it.  So if overcooked ribs is what you like just keep cooking them the way you prefer.  But if you’d like to try a different technique that will give you tender ribs that won’t fall apart when you eat them then I’ve got a technique for you.  They’ll have more flavor this way and the flavor won’t be dependent on slathering your ribs with sauce.

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Pork Inspires: Chef Marjorie Druker

Marjorie Druker is a soup artist!

Chef Druker is the executive chef and co-owner of the famous New England Soup Factory.  Her cookbook, co-authored with Clara Silverstein, New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Purveyor of Fine Soup contains over 100 soup recipes of her own creation.  She also shares her recipe for Pasta Fagioli with Ditalini.

marjorie-druker

Pork chops, pork roast, smoked shoulder of pork, bacon and ham are all foods that I love.  It’s interesting how pork comes in so many different forms, yet is so versatile and distinctive.  I appreciate that I can use pork all year long and create recipes that celebrate each season.

In the fall I am cooking pork tenderloins with baby seckle pears , roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash with bacon or pancetta.  Come wintertime it’s chili with pork and white beans.  Christmas is the perfect time for crown roast of pork stuffed with cornbread, sausage, cashews and apples.

Winter is the height of soup season and in my restaurant kitchen smoked shoulder of pork is the perfect comfort food.  I cook it with split peas and black beans along with pots and pots of Pasta Fagioli.

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Pork Ribs Part 1: How to trim ribs for Saint Louis cut.

One of the more popular cuts of pork ribs for the outdoor BBQ/Grill is known as the St.Louis cut.  Trimming your full rack of ribs down to a St. Louis cut allows you to fit more racks of ribs on the grill.   By cutting away the knuckles, little bones and other parts you only have to deal with the best part of the rib.  A St. Louis trim is also a great cut when cooking your ribs indoors.  Whether in the oven or in the slow cooker you’ll have a much better cooking experience with trimmed ribs.

You can purchase St. Louis cut ribs in the grocery store, but just like anything else, the extra labor involved means paying a premium for your ribs.  With a little practice you’ll be able to trim ribs as nice as your meat cutter.  Just follow these simple instructions…

Start with a couple full racks of pork ribs.  In this case, two racks still the cryovac from the store.

Start with a couple full racks of pork ribs. In this case, two racks still the cryovac from the store. Make sure you've got a sharp knife!

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Pork Inspires: Barry “CB” Martin

Today, Barry Martin, “CB” to his friends, shares a pork memory that still inspires him today.  As a spokesperson for Char-Broil “CB” has taught his love of pork and outdoor cooking to thousands of his fans across the United States.  Barry also shares with us his Brined Pork Chop with Peach Sauce recipe.

Roasted pork served with sides of creamy whipped potatoes covered in pan gravy. On the crowded plate were vegetable succotash and chunky apple sauce. platedpeachyumchopwebThis was my regular Saturday and Sunday afternoon meal for most of my mid-twenties. I didn’t prepare it – I had a regular seat at the counter of a family cafe near my apartment. The tables filled with senior citizen and the counter reserved for bachelors. The cafe opened at 11 o’clock and every 45 minutes a seat became available at the counter –because we bachelors were on a tummy schedule. My tummy alarm was set for 3pm. Without fail the seat I got was in regular succession of other single men who (I assume, like me) subsisted on frozen TV dinners, cold cut sandwiches with canned soup Continue reading

America’s Next Pork Crock-Stars Daily Giveaway

The Slow-Cooker has to be one of the most popular kitchen appliances in America.  Combining the benefits of slow-cooking and ease of use the slow-cooker always brings back memories of great comfort foods to me.  Now the National Pork Board is giving you a daily chance to win not only a new slow-cooker, but $25.00 worth of pork.  There’s never been a better way to bring in the Fall weather than this contest.

There are two ways to enter: Just follow @AllAboutPork on Twitter and tweet your favorite slow-cooked pork recipe with hashtag #porkcrockstar. Or visit the Pork Be Inspired Facebook page and follow the directions to enter. You can read the complete rules and details following the “Continuation.”

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Pork Inspires: Louis Lambert

“Pork: Be Inspired” is the slogan of the National Pork Board.  Over the next couple of months “Pork, Knife and Spoon” will be bringing you a series of posts featuring chefs, cooks and other food lovers who are inspired by pork.  Some are famous and some are not so famous, but either way they love Pork.  We here at PKS hope they inspire you as much as pork inspires them.

First up, Louis Lambert.  Louis is the chef and owner of restaurants in Austin and Fort Worth, Texas.  He recently published Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook: Recipes from Lambert’s Texas Kitchens. Louis shows off one of his inspirations with his “Slow-Smoked Pork Butt with Vinegar Barbecue Sauce.”

As a chef and restaurateur, I am fortunate to have built a career doing the thing that I love and I’m passionate about… spending time in the kitchen cooking. That cooking always involves pork; the meat with a perfect balance of flavor and texture, healthy lean cuts for grilling and braising, to perfectly fatty meat for roasting, barbecues, and sausage. At home on the weekends, a slow smoked pork butt with a maple pepper rub and vinegar chili sauce for family and friends. An adobo braised pork tamale gratin for a potluck dinner. And in the restaurants, Texas pork cheddar and jalapeno hot links, oak smoked pork ribs, grilled citrus brined porter-house pork chops, and the country brandied pork pate, bacon wrapped quail stuffed with chorizo cornbread….the bottom line is, I couldn’t cook the foods I love and that my family, friends, and customers love to eat without pork. — Louis Lambert

slow-smoked-pork-butt

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Are You America’s Next Pork Crock-Star?

“With the slow cooker and pork, it is so easy to prepare family favorites that get everyone around the table.   Plus, pork pairs well with so many flavors, home cooks can experiment with different ingredients to find the next family favorite.” –Susan Westmoreland

Contrary to the popular belief of my BBQ buddies I do not hate slow-cookers.  If the truth be known I even own one and use it.  For me slow-cookers equate to comfort food and there’s nothing more comforting than a great meal with your family.  The National Pork Board has teamed up with Good Housekeeping and it’s Food Director, Susan Westmoreland to encourage you to take a new look at and share your favorite one pot meals.  They are joining forces to kick off the 2011 Slow Cooker Season with a fantastic contest.

If you are a home cook you are invited to show off your unique twists on classic slow cooker recipes.  If you win, you’ll win big!  Grand prize is $2,000.00 and a six month supply of pork.

Entering the contest is as easy as one, two, three…

Step 1:  Starting today, submit an original slow cooker pork recipe at www.PorkBeInspired.com into one of four categories:  Pork Chili, Soups and Stews, Pulled and Barbeque Pork , Pork Roast, and Pork Inspiration (miscellaneous category).

Step 2: Rally friends and family to help vote for your recipe.  Pork fans will determine the 20 finalists, five in each of the four categories.

Step 3: One finalist in each category will ultimately be crowned one of “America’s Next Pork Crock-Stars” by a panel of judges, including Westmoreland and last year’s Pork Crock-Star winner, Linda Cifuentes.

For official rules and regulations visit www.PorkBeInspired.com

In addition, to celebrate the “America’s Next Pork Crock-Stars” contest, the National Pork Board is giving away a free slow cooker and $25 worth of pork every day throughout the month of October. Be sure to “like” Facebook.com/PorkBeInspired and follow @AllAboutPork on Twitter for your chance to be one of the lucky daily winners.