Monday, May 5, 2014

Apple-Jackin' Slo Cookin' Ribs

Granny Smith (apples) and the Ole' Number Seven team up to take this pig on a slow trip to heaven! Ifn' ya don't know Old number Seven – Google it boy! You will find Jack Daniels and the best bourbon ever to grace the back hills of Tennessee! Now it is ALMOST Bar B Que weather but the weekends are still iffy! Bet you didn't know ribs this good could come from your slow cooker!

Remember what we said about putting the chicken in buttermilk overnight? Well when you get to cook pork, just about anything except bacon will taste better if it sits in a brine overnight. No, IT DOES NOT increase the sodium content. It does break down some chemicals in the meat that allows it to be juicy and tender. You will know what slave means if you have ever tried to chew any dry pork!
Every cook worth his salt can make anything taste good. However start with either chicken or pork and you'll have a leg up! ;-) as it were!

3 to 4½ lbs. country-style pork ribs (that's without the bones)
kosher salt
Ground black pepper
2 cups apple juice
2 cups Jack Daniels Bourbon (divided)
1 14 oz. Jar apple jelly
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup bottled barbecue sauce
½ cup cider vinegar
½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
3 medium tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, and quartered

The night before:
Mix 1/3 c. of kosher salt in a mug with ½ c of the apple juice. Heat in microwave for about 1½ to 2 minutes. This is just so the salt will dissolve into the juice. Stir well then pour into a large bowl. Add the rest of the juice along with a cup of Jack Daniels and mix it up well. Make sure it is not hot for the next step.

Trim the pork ribs of any layer of fat. This fat would be necessary if you were smoking or grilling, but NOT for the crock pot. Divide the pork into zipper bags and distribute the apple juice mixture evenly. Put in refrigerator overnight. Some brines will use a maple syrup, some use orange juice, this one is apple-bourbon!

 In the morning:
Wash out and dry the crock pot, spray it well and heat.
Drain out the bags and lightly rinse each piece of pork with cold water. Let drain on paper towels and blot so they are dry. Season with any pepper if you like. Lay them in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Please note if using ribs with bones: stand them on end, bones together like an “A frame”, they may take longer to cook but it WILL work!
Spoon out the jelly into a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 1 minute, just to get hot and melt a bit.
In a large bowl dump the brown sugar and mix in the hot jelly. Add bourbon, Bar B Que sauce, and vinegar. Whisk this together to mix well.

Add the crushed thyme and continue to whisk as you pour this over the meat in the crock pot. Cover, make sure the pot is set to low and let it cook for 4 hours. (or maybe 2 hours on high).

 This will give you plenty of time for a “heads up” to peel, core and quarter the apples. Do this just when it is time to add so they don't turn brown.
Wash the apples, peel them and then cut them with a chefs knife into quarters. Simply cut off the sharp angle and they are ready for the pot.

Scatter the apple quarters in and let it cook for another 3 hours on low. The apples and ribs will be so tender! YUM.

About 40 minutes before the finish time, scoop out about 1½ cups of the liquid to cool.
Now slave likes to serve this with a white rice and a green vegetable as sides.
When almost time to serve and you have your rice done and are microwaving your green vegetable: strain the rib liquid into a sauce pan. Whisk in 2 Tbs of corn starch and heat, stirring occasionally, about a minute or two. This will thicken into a heavenly gooey delight to serve with the ribs and mix into the rice!

To serve you could use a large platter, mound the rice and carefully arrange meat on that. Using a slotted spoon; dish out the apple chunks around the edges. Maybe drizzle some the sauce over, (keep some to serve on side of both ribs and rice!)

Now then if you have any leftovers:
Wash, seed and cut a green pepper into small squares and add to boiling water, let cook for just about 5 to 6 minutes, you don't want to eat them raw. Drain the juice from a can of pineapple chunks. Mix together the rib pieces, apples, pineapple, and green peppers and heat in microwave, then heat the rice. Serve together for a great lunch of sweet and sour pork!
Soon you will be able to count on outdoor cooking, but for now, this makes a great rainy weekend meal inside!
It would embarrass slave even if it had the words. Ones that could come close to expressing its feelings. It can't tell you how alive and happy it has been all week just to be the property of my Master Indy.
Do remember that when you are serving: “Anticipation” is bad. “Attention” is good. You must be patient! Master's don't need patience, they have you! Be what your Master needs!
To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

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