St. Louis–style ribs just might be the best kind of ribs. For the traditional style, use spareribs and ask your butcher to cut them “St. Louis style”. This simply means that the breastbone will be cut off and the ribs will be in a rectangular shape. To get REALLY traditional, you’ll want to smoke your ribs, but we opted to bake ours in the oven for convenience. Oven-baked ribs still get perfectly tender and will be falling right off the bone!
YIELDS: 6 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 10 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 3 HOURS 35 MINS
3 lb. spareribs
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 tbsp. butter, cut into cubes
1 c. barbecue sauce
Preheat oven to 300° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. If your ribs have a thin membrane over the bones on the backside, remove by carefully sliding a knife under the membrane and then peeling it away.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and seasonings. Rub mixture all over ribs until well coated.
Evenly distribute butter cubes over ribs, wrap tightly in foil, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
Switch oven to broil, unwrap ribs, and brush all over with barbecue sauce. Place back on baking sheet and broil until sauce starts to caramelize, 5 minutes.
Are you mostly at home this summer with a bunch of kids who always seem to be hungry? Are you looking for something different to make for lunch or dinner? Something filling, tasty, and easy to make? Maybe even something you can make ahead and heat up when ready to serve? I think this Italian Beef Drip Sandwich may be just the thing to keep everyone full and happy!
Italian Beef Drip Sandwiches are pretty much like French Dip Sandwiches. Mainly they’re beef sandwiches that you dip in beef broth. Now I love a Roast Beef French Dip Sandwich, specially one with onions and cheese, but sometimes you need a bit of spice and these Italian Beef Drip Sandwiches do just that! They add a bit of spice or more than a bit if you like it hotter, to your meal.
They’re easy to make and can even be made a head of time and stored in the fridge until you need them. I usually keep some on hand in the freezer during the summer, you never know when you need to make yummy sandwiches. You can make the beef in your Crockpot, on your stove, or in your Instant Pot (if making in an instant pot adjust the liquids so you will have dipping broth); the idea is to cook the meat until it’s falling apart and easily shredded.
Once you have the meat filling, and the broth which is from slow cooking the meat, all you need is some nice crusty bread (I prefer hoagie rolls) and provolone cheese. You slap them together, toast until the cheese melts, and serve with hot broth for dipping. I love to serve them with my homemade potato chips! It’s hearty enough to make a filling dinner for the whole family!
1 Chuck Roast about 3 lbs. or more if you want to freeze some for later
1 Box Beef Broth – use more if making in an instant pot
Provolone Cheese Slices
Crusty Bread Rolls
Place all ingredients except bread and cheese into your Crockpot, stock pot, or Instant Pot.
If using Crockpot cook on low heat for 8 hours. If using Instant Pot cook on stew setting. If cooking on the stove top simmer it in a covered pot until the meat is falling apart, this should take at least 4-5 hours.
Remove cooked beef from pot and shred using two forks. If using right away then following steps to make sandwich. If storing for later use place in sealed container with peppers and liquid from the pot and refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze.
To make sandwiches cut bread in half and lightly toast in the oven.
Fill with bread with shredded meat and peppers, top with cheese.
Bake in 350 degree oven until cheese melts and the edges of the bread are toasted a bit more.
Serve with a small bowl of the hot broth.
To make later just reheat the meat, peppers, and broth in the microwave oven before putting sandwich together.
If I’ve learned anything from the recent recent lock downs due to the deadly virus it’s to make family meals using whatever is on hand.
For many of us lock downs are soon to be a thing of the past if your state hasn’t reopened already. But the treat of more lock downs may still loom in our future. Such is our new normal, at least until a vaccine or a cure can be found. In my opinion that’s a big reason to not forget the lessons we learned thus far.
I’m fortunate enough to live in Hawaii, a state which hasn’t seen the devastation COVID-19 has wielded across the other 48 states that we refer to as the mainland. I’m not sure if it was our politicians’ prompt stay at home order which began on March 23, our health department’s mandatory 14 day quarantine of incoming travelers, our small population with less high density areas, or our isolated location which kept us from the widespread suffering experienced by the other states. I’m prone to think it was a combination of all these factors. But whatever the case maybe the virus was no more real or frightening for us on the islands as it was for our fellow citizens on the mainland.
Our fears heightened by 24/7 news reports and social media posts spurred many citizens to stand in long lines in search of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and disinfectants just like our mainland counter parts. Fortunately for our family we didn’t wait in long lines searching for basic necessities. My daughter whose family lives in Northern Italy had been in lock down since February, she had urged us to stock up on food and other necessities weeks before US cases and deaths piled up. She had warned that it was only a matter of time before we faced the same issues they faced in Europe. Luckily we listened. We had shopped in early March, doubling and sometimes tripling what we normally purchased. Another plus was having an extra freezer and pantry.
Before the lock down began and we were stocking up our homes and kitchens we had decided that the plan was to have enough of everything so that during the lock down we just had to replenish a few things such as fresh fruits and veggies. During the lock down we’d have lists of what we ran out of which made our grocery trips faster and more efficient; we’d also wait until the list was pretty long before heading to the store.
Because we shopped less frequently and when we did shop not everything on the list was always available, we did run short of a few things. Which is why some of our favorite dishes had to be altered to make use of what we had on hand.
One of the easiest dishes to adapt to ingredients you have on hand is stew. I never really had to plan on making stew, I’ve pretty much use ingredients I found in my fridge and pantry. And in a pandemic stews are one of the best comfort foods to serve.
So during the lock down I made Hunters’ Stew. I call it that because I basically “hunt” for ingredients in my kitchen and toss them together to make my stew. So here’s my hunters’ stew “recipe”, feel free to substitute ingredients based on your tastes and what’s on hand.
Meat – beef, chicken, lamb, or no meat at all – cut meat into large chunks
Veggies – any combination of veggies such as potatoes, carrots, celery, okra, etc.
Flour for dredging
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbs. Oil
Garlic – fresh or powder
Oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaf, or Italian seasoning
Stock or broth – use the same broth as your meat – if you’re making beef stew then use beef broth, etc.
2 Cans tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes (you can even use tomato paste if that’s all you have – if you use paste you may have to use more liquid)
Heat oil in a large pot.
Mix salt, pepper, flour together.
Coat meat in flour mixture, shake off excess flour and place in pot.
Cook until all sides of meat are browned.
Add garlic and other spices.
Add broth and veggies and stir well.
Lower heat to simmer.
Cook covered until potatoes are cooked.
Add tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes.
Cover and simmer until meat is tender.
Store leftovers in the fridge.
Reheated left over stew is usually tastier than fresh stew!
Grilling is always fun. We usually have a family barbecue every Sunday. It’s lots of fun and a great way to catch up with each other after a busy week. One of the problems I run in to is finding new recipes to grill. (With recent lock downs and quarantines we’ve had to barbecue for those of us in the household, other family members barbecue at their homes to maintain social distancing. But hopefully soon we can all get together again for this family tradition!)
Sure hot dogs, burgers, and steaks are easy, but every now and then we need a change. That’s why I’m always in search of a new barbecue recipe. I like to try them out during this weekly family dinner, and if everyone likes it we make it part of our menu.
Last month I tried this new marinade, mostly because I had all the ingredients in the pantry. (Again with the pandemic quarantine we try to keep shopping trips to a minimum). But also because I love balsamic vinegar, which is the main ingredient to this recipe. I call it Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade.
The best part about marinades is that it flavors your meat with very little work. It’s simple, just toss the ingredients together, soak the meat, and let the marinade do the rest of the work! I marinate my meat in the refrigerator overnight. The longer is marinates the more flavorful it will be, but you don’t want to marinate it more than a day or so, because when marinated too long the meat starts getting this tough jerky like texture and it may eventually spoil. If for some reason we don’t use the marinated meat the next day I freeze it, marinade and all. That way I just thaw it out when we’re ready to grill.
Just before grilling I skewer the beef cubes on bamboo skewers, but you can use metal skewers if you have them. We do have a bunch of pretty metal skewers we brought home from Turkey one year, but cleaning them after the barbecues is an extra chore I can do without. When you do use bamboo skewers remember to soak them in water for about 10 – 15 minutes before putting the meat on, it keeps them from burning when you pop them on the grill.
Another helpful tip when grilling is to not over cook the meat. Grill meat until it is just about done to the way you want it (rare, medium, well). In short remove it from the grill before it is the desired “doneness”. Place grilled meat in a covered pot or roasting pan and let rest covered for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the meat to finish cooking and to release its juices. Try it out! You’ll end up with tender juicy meat! It works for steaks too!
Having said that here’s my recipe for Vinaigrette Marinade! By the way you can use the same marinade on chicken, lamb, or shrimp. Just don’t mix the meats, make a separate batch of marinade for each type of meat or seafood.
3 Lbs. Beef Tenderloin cut in 1″ cubes (you can use your favorite beef cut)
1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Finely Minced Garlic
1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Rosemary
1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Oregano
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Large Onions cut into large chunks
1 Large Green Pepper cut into large pieces
1 Basket Mushrooms, washed and patted dry
Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and seasonings in a large ziplock bag. Seal bag and shake to combine all the ingredients together.
Add meat cubes to the marinade. Seal bag and shake to cover all the meat.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours, for best flavor marinate in the fridge overnight.
About and hour or less before grilling place meat, onions, peppers, and
mushrooms on skewers. Alternate meat with veggies.
Grill over medium heat until meat is just about done the way you want it.
Place skewers in a large pot or roasting pan with a lid. Cover and let stand 5 minutes to allow meat to finish cooking and release its juices.
Serve hot with rice, potatoes, and other sides.
Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade
Tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled meat that's perfect for any cook out.
Whenever we are in LA there’s this place we frequent, Zankou Chicken; although their specialty is the delicious rotisserie chicken they also serve beef and chicken kebobs and shawarma wraps. We love the beef shawarma so much that we buy a dozen or so to take home with us.
Since there are no trips planned to LA anytime soon I decided to try my hand at making my own.
Shawarma is usually cooked on a spit and slow roasted as it turn, I don’t have one of those machines so I found a way to make it using just my oven and stove top.
To make the meat extra tender I used thinly sliced boneless beef short ribs with all the fat trimmed off. I adapted a chinese restaurant method used to tenderize their stir fry meat and it made my ribs very tender.
The secret to great shawarma is the spices used to marinate the meat. So get out your spice rack to make this tasty recipe. We make it into wraps using either pita bread or nan. Served with crunchy dill pickles and my sun dried tomato/roasted red pepper hummus and you’ve got a filling meal.
My family thinks my version is just as good as the shawarma we buy at Zankou!