Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Braised ribs in Cola

On Monday, I was at a doctor's appointment and you know how they usually leave old magazines for patients to read so we can all be... well, you know... patient.  Since there was no one else at the office to talk to and I like to talk I grabbed one of the magazines and went straight for the recipes.  The way I was raised, you only buy a magazine if it has good recipes on the back, something that has stuck with me and that's how I buy them.

Anyhow, I found a June 2013 Real Simple magazine and as tradition will have it, I went straight to the recipes.  Let me tell you though this is the one magazine I buy mostly for their articles.  You have seen the magazine.  Amazing articles, specially on organization (which I am definitely NOT good at) and very good reads.  Their recipes, I don't know, I guess they don't look really appealing to me.  Granted I have never made a recipe from this magazine or any other for that matter.  Who knows they are probably finger-licking good... wow, I just realized I have hundred of cutout recipes from lots of magazines since I was a teenager and I haven't made one just yet.

On page 117 of the magazine there was an article written by Dawn Perry titled There's the Rub, about rubs, marinades and sauces.  They all seemed delicious and I started imagining how they would smell in my kitchen.  And then I couldn't stop thinking about them as I moved on to other magazines.  So I did what any intelligent foodie would've done.  I went back to the magazine and tear the article, folded it, hid it in my purse, put the mag back on the table, and acted as if nothing had happened.

After the appointment I went to Costco to get milk for my son and I accidentally walked by the meat department and I saw this beautiful back ribs.  They were calling my name "Lucy, Lucy, I will go great with the Moroccan rub you want to try" they said.  I tried to ignored them, but somehow they found their way to my cart. 

Sorry, had to go pour a glass of sangria...

So I got to the house very excited to prep my ribs for yesterday's lunch.  I put the groceries away.  Cleaned out a small area in my counter ( I have a super-duper-tiny kitchen) and I started washing the ribs and placing them very carefully in a plate to wait until I prepared the rub.  As I started gathering the ingredients for the rub, guess what?  I didn't have all of them. I was very unhappy, but that wasn't going to stop me.  I tweaked the recipe a little.  I adapted and it came out great.

Ribs, cleaned and ready to be rubbed.
I will give you the original recipe from the mag, followed by the one I made up.  it will season 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of meat.  I doubled it because I was going to cook 4 pounds of ribs.

Moroccan rub
1       tablespoons sweet paprika
2       teaspoons ground ginger
1/2    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4    teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Rubbing the meat.

1/2    teaspoon black pepper

This mama's crazy life version

Moroccan rub
1       tablespoons instant coffee
1       teaspoons ground cumin
1/2    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4    teaspoon ground allspice
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2    teaspoon black pepper

I rubbed the meat, covered it and let rest overnight. 
I rubbed the meat with a little bit of canola oil (it's what I had) and the dry rub.  Covered it and let rest overnight. 

Searing the meat.

This morning I got the biggest pot I have and preheated it until it smoked.  I added a little oil (just enough to cover the bottom) and started searing the meat in batches.  You don't want to overcrowd it (no steaming, searing).  After I was done searing I put the ribs back in the pot and went to get a glass of soda and I had an epiphany... braise the ribs in cola.  And that's how this recipe happened.

Braising the ribs low and slow
for almost 4 hours.

Braising liquid

4 cups Coca-Cola 
2 cups water
1 can tomato sauce, without salt
2 tablespoons sofrito criollo (in my house that is onion, garlic, cilantro, cilantro, equal parts in a blender with olive oil)
1/2 cup salsa, chunky, mild
2 oz red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar

On med-low heat.  Pour Cola and water and cook covered for about 3 1/2 hours.  When the meat is tender add the rest of the ingredients, cover and let liquid cook down until it becomes a sauce.  It will get very thick and glossy.

Liquid cooked down to a sweet,
smoky, glossy sauce.  Almost like BBQ.

At my house that was lunch today.  I served them with white rice and fresh pink beans and tostones de pana.  Healthy?  I don't know.  Delish?  Yup.  YUM, YUM!!!

Have you tried recipes from magazines before.  Let me know how they came out.

Until next time,