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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Cheaters’ Wild Pork Ribs

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There are days when just getting out of bed seems like a major achievement.  As I stagger to the kitchen whimpering for a cup of coffee,  a pile of bills waits for me on the table.  I wade through waist-deep laundry to get to the the freezer room (yes, we have a freezer room! My husband is the Deerslayer, remember.) to decide what to fix for dinner.  I stare, bleary-eyed, at the contents,  waiting for something to jump out at me, something so easy to prepare that I can whip it up in no time and still come out looking like a Homemaker Extraordinaire.   Do you have days like that, too?

Quite by accident, I stumbled upon something that fills the bill, if you will.  A couple of years ago, Deerslayer had a great year hunting wild pigs.  There was plenty of very welcome wild pork to fill our freezers.  We ground a whole bunch of it, and had several roasts and tenderloins.  I was a happy camper.  Deerslayer asked if he should keep the ribs.  Keep in mind that wild pork ribs aren’t the same size as the ones you get at the market, much smaller.  But, what the hell, said I!  So we packaged up quite a mess of ribs, as well.

I’d been wondering for a while if I could cook the ribs in the oven like I did in my post from March 22, 2013, freeze them, label them, and toss them on the pit just long enough to impart the smoky goodness at the last minute. I decided to give it a shot.

I seasoned the pork ribs very liberally with Tommy’s Salt & Pepper mix, tossed them in my covered roasting pan with a can of Dr. Pepper poured over, and braised them for approximately a couple of hours at 350 degrees, turning occasionally, until the meat just about fell off the bone.

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I was able to pull the bones right out of the ribs.  The slabs stayed intact, however. Sorry for the bad lighting.  The meat wasn’t quite that grey.

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Then I packaged up the fully-cooked meat, labeled it, and tossed it in the freezer.

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When I was ready for a speedy, great dinner, I thawed out the meat, started some charcoal in the BBQ pit and worked on my side dishes (red bell peppers to grill, some garlic to roast, and some cole slaw).

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I put the ribs on the grill just long enough to heat them through, and slathered them with my favorite BBQ sauce.  I tossed some red bell peppers on as well after I removed the seeds, opened up the peppers to lie flat, rubbed them with olive oil, and added some Salt & Pepper mix .

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Meanwhile, back in the kitchen,  I took a slew of garlic cloves (pre-peeled from Sam’s Club), tossed ’em in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil, and allowed them to roast until lightly browned and soft. Pretty damned tasty!  Most of them were eaten right out of the skillet before I could even get a picture!

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The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions (and Tomato Soup!)

DSC_0090Ah, dear readers!  My intention was to have this post ready to go in time for Lent. It was perfect for Lent (and I suppose it still is). Things came up, however, that prevented me from fulfilling my obligation to get ‘er done… too many things to mention. Sometimes we just have put our frivolous fancies on the back burner for while. That’s what I did.  I hope that no one broke any Lenten promise because they simply didn’t have the perfect tomato soup recipe.  The burden will weigh heavily on my mind (for a little while).

At this point, I guess I will simply switch gears and let you know that this soup recipe will also be perfect for a lovely  Mother’s Day treat. Perhaps a nice grilled cheese sandwith, bowl of delicious soup and a delightful fluted glass of Prosecco.  I know I’d be good with that!   Or a bowl of soup would be a wonderful introduction to a fabulous seared venison, nilgai, or elk tenderloin with balsamic glaze and some roasted asparagus. If you are a mom, point this out to your nearest and dearest Deerslayer.  If you are the Deerslayer, you know what you have to do!

Everyone needs a really great tomato soup recipe.  I’ve never been a fan of canned tomato soup.  And some of the restaurant specialties have as much cream and butter as tomatoes!  I looked through many recipes, tried a few, tweeked those a bit, and ended up with a nice tomato soup recipe that pleased all members of the Deerslayer household.  And it’s pretty darned good for you, too.  It has become my go-to recipe for tomato soup.  I believe all households should have one.  The addition of garlic and balsamic vinegar send it right over the top.  I hope it becomes your go-to recipe, as well, with some tweeking to make it your own.

Really Good Tomato Soup

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As I scrutinized my reference photo, it became apparent that other items on my counter might have caused confusion.  This recipe DOES NOT have otats, rice, beans, or fiber cereal in the list of ingredients.  Sorry about that!   

a splash of olive oil

½ an onion, chopped*

1 stalk celery, chopped*

1 large carrot, chopped*

2-3 cloves of chopped garlic*

2 bay leaves

1 small can tomato paste

2 tbs. flour

2 small cans of diced tomatoes or one big one(approx 28-32 oz. total)

3 cups chicken stock (or duck, goose,  or pheasant, etc.) You get the picture.

1 tsp. white pepper (White pepper is a whole different flavor.  It’s worth a try. Black pepper can be substituted, though.)

1-2 tbsp. sugar 

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt to taste

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions, celery, carrots, and bay leaves. DSC_0086.JPG

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 Stir until onions are soft and translucent.

Add garlic and continue stirring, being careful not to let garlic burn. Turn heat down to medium.

Add tomato paste.  Mash it in with the veg, and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour for another minute or two. Pour in the tomatoes, stir well, then stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat.  Add pepper, sugar, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove bay leaves.  Use an immersion blender to produce a smooth soup, if desired.

Garnish with sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, or whatever your heart desires.

*

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Don’t forget to save all the trimmed off bits for making a delicious, homemade stock.  Put all the bits into a gallon-sized zip-lock bag and store in the freezer.  Add to the bag until it is full of carrot, celery, onion, and garlic scraps that can be thrown into a large stock pot with water for stock.  Bones can be added, too.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2016 in Recipes, Uncategorized

 

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