A Catholic perspective on the world and all the good things therein, especially books and food. Literature cum chocolate is the order of the day at The Crockery.

Location: A Collegetown, Undisclosed Location, United States

No longer a graduate student, Teresa is now a professional know-it-all.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Posting frequency, plus ribs

I don't know if anyone is actually reading this blog -I haven't exactly advertised it widely- but just so you know, I'm not planning on posting every day. About 2-3 posts a week is the plan. I am informing you now so that you don't get puzzled and/or disappointed. I can also promise that not every post will be about food. I do have other things to talk about. Really.

Right now I want to address a question which is neither profound nor of great political importance (did I mention that I will virtually never talk about politics here? Me no like) but which concerned my attention for at least an hour last night: what to do with beef boneless chuck country style ribs. I am not talking about "short ribs." If I were, the answer to the question would be simpler. There are a number of recipes for short ribs out there on the internet. And I'm not talking about pork country style ribs. There are lots of recipes for those, too, including some for boneless pork country style ribs. But I didn't find any recipes for boneless BEEF Chuck country style ribs.

Why does it matter? you may ask. Can't you just pour barbecue sauce on them and cook 'em like any barbecue meat? Yes, I could have. What I wanted to know, though, was how best to cook them, and how long. The most I got was the general hint from Betty Crocker that they should be "braised" or cooked in liquid. But Betty didn't seem to know how long to cook them either way, or if she knew, she wasn't saying. All I wanted was an approximate cooking time, so that I didn't severly overcook them. The only internet recipe I found that seemed to be specifically for this meat said to "cook until done." Well, thpppthpthp to you, too.

What I finally did, of course, was turn to my crockpot. I loosely followed the crockpot cooking instructions for ribs, using a bottle of barbecue sauce rather than making my own. Here's what I did:

1) sliced up half an onion, then for good measure cut the onion rings in half
2) sprinkled salt and pepper over the ribs
3) put the ribs and onions in a small (3 quart) crockpot
4) liberally covered the ribs with barbecue sauce
5) turned the crockpot on low and walked away.

Normally, I'd say that that's all I have to do for the next eight hours, except of course for preparing the other dishes for tonight's meal. But in this case, my crockpot is less than half full, which means I'll have to keep watching it to make sure the ribs don't overcook or even burn. That's what I get for making only 1 1/2 pounds of meat, rather than 2 or 3 pounds.

That can be today's lesson, kids: Crockpots work best when 1/2- 3/4 full. If you're going to buy only one crockpot, do not buy the 6 quart pot unless you are actually going to make 4-5 quarts of food in it on a regular basis. If you make small meals, get a small pot. Oh, and if I may pass on a tip someone passed on to me: if you need more than one crockpot, look for auxillary pots at the thrift store. The only real drawback to a used pot is that it may look ugly. It may also not have a removable crockery insert which is dishwasher safe, but them's the breaks. I find that my old pot is not really any harder to clean than the new one, even though the crockery part isn't removable.

Finally, if anyone knows how boneless beef chuck country style ribs are supposed to be cooked, do let me know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, it's been nearly 2 years since your post, but I was wondering if you ever found out how to properly cook "boneless beef chuck country style ribs". I too (again, nearly 2 years later!) am having trouble finding a good recipe for this.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Teresa Tulip said...

Anonymous- Sadly, no, I have never found a good recipe for these ribs. I have learned that you CAN cook them successfully in a small crock pot if you season them well before hand. I use a combination of garlic salt, onion salt, black pepper, and sometimes liquid smoke these days, then add a mixture of honey and BBQ sauce (half and half) to make "honey-smoked ribs." The result is definitely a bit better than my original recipe, but I still am not sure that it's the best way to cook these ribs!

12:50 PM  

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