Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Hot Honeyed Spare Ribs by Sandra Lee of Food Network Fame.
It was my turn to pick the recipe for the week. Boo-yah! No healthy eating and/or vegetables up in this hizzy! And if you thought that my recipe choice was well thought out and done with thorough research you are just nothing but Chris Brown wrong. I picked this type of recipe out because I had a package of ribs in my freezer and was completely over eating anything that involved chicken or ground beef. I chose this particular recipe because I googled rib recipe images and it caught my eye. I’m easy that way (insert whore joke here, I don’t mind). I also have to admit that I don’t watch Food Network television so the only thing I really know about Sandra Lee is that she apparently likes the alky-haul. Whatevs, I’m not judging. I save my judging for bloggers that end up on video because whoa, seeing that fake shit makes me so uncomfortable. Just type your words, fixate on your husband’s ass and stay off of video because YOU. CANNOT. ACT.
So yeah. RIBS. I finally looked at the recipe after it was all settled between Robyn and I that it was going to be the recipe we would do together. And that’s when I realized that I didn’t have all of the ingredients that I needed. I also didn’t know what one of the ingredients was. Chili Garlic sauce. The fuck? I had to google it. And I did find out that you can buy the stuff at Walmart, but Rick was going in a different direction (I was having him pick the stuff up while he was out). I told him that any brand would do as long as it was Chili Garlic Sauce.
I ended up with this. Apparently Rick is dyslexic. But I don’t think that it matters. We’re trying to eat a little healthier (says she who picked ribs) so I had him get the lighter dressing.
This is my homemade broiler (cookie rack/cookie sheet). I had a beautiful one that I gave to the thrift store because I never used it. I hate broiling anything because I usually burn foods (I get bored and walk away) or it makes a mess of my oven. Blech, to the broiling. You’ll see why I changed my mind about broiling at the end of this entry.
I’m also easing up on the sugar in this house. We use Splenda when we can and this is our favorite brand of “artificial” honey. It’s sold at Walmart and it’s cheap.
I just threw all of the ingredients in a measuring cup (that’s a two cup one) because measuring honey is a pain in the ass so I started with it in the bottom. I knew that once I mixed it all up it would come out easily with a spatula and save me from a sticky mess.
Once I dumped it all over my pre-broiled ribs (crock pot was sprayed with cooking spray, of course) I was pretty sure this recipe was going to be a total flop. When I walked past it I would try to baste it because I was worried that the meat would have no flavor. I can honestly say that I was getting PISSED that I wasted good money on a shitty recipe. After I splashed myself with the sauce for the third time I said the hell with it and walked away.
And that’s when things started to get good. I should have left it the hell alone from the very beginning and let it do its thing!
Once cooked, my runny mess turned into a delicious sauce. And the ribs came off the bone like butter.
Crappy picture by my husband. I was too busy shoving my piehole with this deliciousness to even bother taking a picture. I like some spice to my food. Not a lot because I don’t want to have my taste buds burned off, or have to suck down Tums or Prilosec after I eat. This had just enough heat to let me know it was there, but it was really about the flavor. Everyone in the house liked this (except my mother who does not eat ribs, weirdo).
It will definitely be in the mealtime rotation because it’s a great way to do ribs when you can’t do them on the grill. Just follow the directions, have a little faith and don’t mess with ’em!
I will be honest with y’all, when I looked at the list of ingredients and saw Catalina dressing on there, I was like “Uh… really?” Because while I like Catalina dressing on a salad (it’s what I always get at a salad bar!), I wouldn’t have guessed it to be a terrific ingredient when it comes to ribs. But then, I rarely make ribs and when I do, I toss them in the crock pot with BBQ sauce and call it good enough, so what do I know?
First of all, the recipe calls for “baby back ribs, cut in 1/2.” This sent me into a slight tizzy because we had ribs in the freezer – ribs from our very own pigs – but what was the difference between those ribs and baby back ribs? I decided to look at baby back ribs at the grocery store, and if there was some huge, visible difference between those and what we had on hand, I’d go with the baby back ribs. Well, I couldn’t find anything labeled “baby back ribs” at the grocery store, so using our own ribs was what I ended up doing.
Gratuitous ingredients shot:
(The low-sodium soy sauce is missing from this picture.)
Like Nance, I had no idea what Chili Garlic Sauce was. I got in my head that it was something I’d find in the marinade section. So I stood there for about ten minutes looking and looking for something that said Chili Garlic Sauce on it, and nothin’. I was getting frustrated and on the verge of texting Nance to be all “WTF?” when I remembered that I have a smart phone, so I Googled around and found that I’d do better off looking in the Asian section. I looked, and whattaya know, there it was. I think it’s funny that Nance and I both ended up with the exact same brand. Same brand of dressing, too! Here’s a handy tip when it comes to dressings (same holds true for cheeses) : reduced calorie is fine, but for god’s sake, don’t ever buy the fat free stuff. It tastes like plastic, and I am not even kidding you.
I actually had to broil my ribs in two batches, because I ended up with more than four pounds of ribs (and also, they weren’t cut in half like the recipe called for because I could only imagine that I’d have hacked my thumb off in the process).
Nance’s idea of using a big measuring cup to mix up the sauce is a good one – I didn’t think of that, so I mixed everything up in a smallish bowl while the first batch of ribs were broiling. Then as I put each section of ribs into the crock pot, I poured some sauce over each, front and back, so I wouldn’t need to do any stirring.
I was afraid that the sauce wouldn’t thicken up, but right around 3 hours, it got nice and thick. I took my ribs out at the 3 1/2 hour mark to let them cool a bit, while I made our side dishes (rice and veggies).
The verdict? Really, really good. Both Fred and I liked it a LOT. We don’t eat ribs very often, and in the past we’ve only eaten them because we had them in the freezer. I don’t know that we’re going to eat ribs more often in the future, but when we have them (I believe we’ve got another couple of packs of ribs left over from the previous pig), this is going to be the go-to recipe.
I love that we’re going to probably get another two meals out of this. The best part of living in a house with two people? You don’t have to cook as often!
Two thumbs up to the ribs. Obviously Nance needs to pick our recipes more often!
PS: I think a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic would have been a nice addition, too.
- 4 pounds baby back ribs, cut in ½
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup chili garlic sauce
- 1 cup Catalina dressing
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Preheat broiler. Line bottom portion of broiler pan with foil for easy clean up. Spray top rack lightly with cooking spray.
- Season ribs with garlic salt and pepper. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes, turn and broil for an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Place browned ribs in slow cooker.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour sauce mixture over ribs. Move ribs around to make sure they are all coated. Cover and cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
- With tongs, remove ribs from slow cooker and let cool slightly before cutting into individual rib pieces. Skim grease from sauce. Serve ribs with sauce on the side.