you probably would never eat an animal product. Or that could just be me. I do not wish to be reminded that what I’m eating used to be alive or is produced by another mammal – you know like milk, or – eggs. Think about what an egg is – eww! I can’t cook a whole chicken because even after it is de-feathered and cleaned up it still looks like a chicken.
Today I made my favorite meal for lunch (we eat our major meal at what most people would call lunch time) – boneless country pork ribs and mashed sweet potatoes.
Which brings me to the topic of BBQ. I love me some BBQ and I’m not fussy what kind, Texas BBQ, Southern BBQ, even Carolina BBQ. Without doing any Googling, and from memory and common knowledge, I can tell you: Texas BBQ is beef with a tomato based sauce, Southern BBQ is pork, also with a tomato based sauce but different spices and Carolina BBQ is usually pork with a vinegar based sauce. (OK, here’s a link to some BBQ info.) I will eat them all, no preference really, tho I tend towards pork with a tangy sauce – I don’t do sweet BBQ sauce as a general rule.
I have never cooked food outside on a portable stove ie: grill over an open flame. I don’t even like eating outside, much less cooking outside – I don’t get the attraction. I do prefer a gas stove inside but I do worry about it – fire – inside….ummm, no, scary. (Don’t even start with the cozy fireplace nonsense – why do people start fires inside their homes, isn’t that something we all try to avoid? Oh yes, there are pyromaniacs and insurance cheats, wait, I’m getting off topic here.)
So -on to my boneless country pork ribs cooked inside on a gas stove. First you get your stainless frying pan, slick it with some olive oil, brown your ribs (having sprinkled some garlic powder on them). Add some white wine and some BBQ sauce. I like Sticky Fingers Memphis Original myself. (And yes, Memphis BBQ is top notch – top notch! Ate myself sick on it the one time I was in Memphis). Oddly enough pork is rather lean and you always need to cook it with some liquid. (Yes, you can smoke pork but that is a whole ‘nother cooking technique not available to the majority of us on a regular basis – Sheesh!) Pop that pan in a 350° oven until the internal temperature of the meat is about 150°.
Put the ribs on a plate and cover it loosely with aluminium foil. Put the frying pan with the liquid on the stove top and reduce it to a nice thick sauce – takes 4 or 5 minutes, depending on how much liquid you put in originally, also how high you have the flame – technical stuff here, if you know how to cook, you know what I’m talking about.
Now, sweet potatoes – ah! I’m a philistine – I cook mine in the microwave. Yes, they would taste even more wonderful if I baked them in the oven but that would take a lot more time than 10 minutes in the microwave – So sue me. I do the potatoes way ahead of time so they can cool off a bit before I scoop the potato out of the skin and mash it.
Fun part – I add a few pats of butter, for my husband not for myself particularly. I don’t need butter on my sweet potatoes but it does make them a little easier to mash. I add cinnamon, nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper. (Black pepper MUST be freshly ground – don’t argue with me. If you are using the already ground stuff from a can – Stop That!. You can easily find peppercorns that come in a grinder, so you don’t need to buy a special pepper grinder if you don’t want to. Me, I buy Trader Joe’s, comes in a grinder.) Then you just mash it all up with a fork or the back of a spoon. Cover the dish with some plastic wrap and set it aside.
While your sauce is cooking down, pop the dish of sweet potatoes back in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes to warm them up and Voilà. Mashed sweet potatoes tasty like candy.
You will notice that nowhere in these descriptions is there a mention of salt. I don’t do salt. You can add some if you want but you don’t need it – not for the taste and certainly not for your health. Just sayin’
So on this most gorgeous day of perfect weather I had a most gorgeous lunch. You should all be this lucky!