Sunday, 5 July 2015

An American Influence

I love a themed event and will use any excuse to cook up something to fit the theme. This weekend coincided with Independence Day in the USA and what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than to whip up some Oreo Chocolate Brownies and Barbecued Ribs with a Sticky Smoky Bourbon Glaze.

Before and After

The brownies were made using this recipe with Oreo cookies cut in half and pushed into the mixture before baking. Oreos are a well known American cookie.

Barbecue and ribs seem to feature in lots of American films, TV programs and books. One that springs to mind is the film Fried Green Tomatoes which has a memorable scene involving barbecue, those who have seen it will know what it is that I am referring to and those who haven't need to get the film and watch it.

To make these ribs I use a large bottle of that American Institution, Coke. I use it in the braising liquid and again in the Sticky Bourbon Glaze. For this recipe I used thick, short cut beef ribs which tend to be quite tough and chewy. The braising process makes the meat tender and then they can be barbecued or baked in the oven.

Here's How

The ribs slowly cooking in the marinade

Barbecue/Char Grill

Ribs removed from marinade, dried with paper towel

Ribs brushed with glaze

Ribs char grilled or barbecued

Oven Method
Ribs and unreduced glaze ready for the oven

Ribs cooked in the oven

Beef Spare Ribs with Sticky Bourbon Glaze
Allow two – three ribs per person
Braising Liquid
8 thick, short cut beef ribs
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 litres Coke – Cola, reserve 1 cup for the glaze
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika

Place ribs in a pot/ casserole /electric frypan. Cover with all ingredients for the marinade. Add a little water if the ribs are not completely covered. Simmer/ cook on low heat for 2 -3 hours or until the meat is soft and can be pierced easily with a skewer. I cook them foe 3 hours if they are to be barbecued and two if they are to be cooked in the oven.

1 cup Coke- Cola
½ cup Bourbon/whiskey/brandy
½ cup tomato sauce
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika.

For a barbecue glaze -combine all ingredients in a saucepan and reduce until thick and a coating consistency.
To cook in the oven – combine all ingredients but do not reduce, pour the glaze over the ribs and reduce in the oven.

To Finish Ribs
Cook ribs for at least 2 hours, if really thick they may need 3.
Remove ribs from braising liquid* and pat dry with paper towel. Brush ribs all over with the glaze and cook on a hot grill. Turning ribs to char each side. Brush again with the glaze and serve a little with the ribs.
* braising liquid may be reduced down and added to the glaze.

In the Oven
Cook ribs for 2 hours. Remove ribs from braising liquid* and place in a baking dish. Pour glaze over the ribs and cook in a very hot oven for a further 45 minutes, baste the ribs once or twice. The glazw will reduce and thicken as it cooks in the oven.
* braising liquid may be reduced down and added to ribs as they cook.

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