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Well hello there! After a long hiatus I am back and determined to keep blogging. I haven’t forgotten about it and I think about it every day. I’ve decided to start making some time for myself to put some personal enjoyment back into my life and improve my mental health and stress level. I’m notorious for always putting others first which is a good quality to have but I think I’ve forgotten to do some things for me. Some people go to the spa, others have “me-days” and for me, I cook.

The hubby and I have diligently been stocking up our pantry, freezer and deep freezer with food staples for a long winter. We have tons of canned tomatoes, pumpkin puree, jam, frozen meats and seafood of all kinds, frozen vegetable trimmings for stock (see my previous post of making stock here), dried pasta, flour…you name it. With Evan back in school full time we are on a very strict budget but I won’t let our meals together be sacrificed. Since my schedule is pretty hectic we only get to have dinner two or three times a week together. It’s not ideal but I try to make each dinner special. With winter just around the corner we have been putting the slow cooker to good use. Lucky hubby gets to come home from a long day at school to a house full of comforting smells. Over the winter we are determined to get to the bottom of our freezers and pantry, and after all, isn’t that why we have stocked up? Plus I’m pretty interested to see what is actually at the bottom of the deep freezer. I’m hoping there is some Filipino tocino and longanisa kicking around.

Tender, lovin' ribs.

Tender, lovin’ ribs.

What better way to get back into blogging then with a series of posts featuring cooking from the freezer and pantry.

Tonight we’re having ribs! Or “ribbies” as Evan and our nephews call them.

Browning the ribs on both sides adds an extra layer of flavour.

Browning the ribs on both sides adds an extra layer of flavour.

The ribs were frozen and I had left over BBQ sauce that I made last week for some pulled pork. The BBQ sauce has an Asian flare to it but you can use whatever kind you prefer. Mine started with sweating down some onions and garlic, then adding:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup soya sauce
  • Couple dashes oyster sauce
  • Teeny-tiny bit of fish sauce
  • ¼  cup honey
  • Splash apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ can chipotle adobo peppers
  • 1 tablespoon ginger powder
  • Pepper

No salt was needed because there was enough salt from the Asian sauces. I let everything simmer for about half an hour then pureed it and let it simmer for about another 45 minutes or so.

Big ole pot o' ribs. MmMMmm! Ladies, this is the secret to a happy marriage.

Big ole pot o’ ribs. MmMMmm! Ladies, this is the secret to a happy marriage.

For the ribs we had a full rack, pretty intimidating. After thawing I cut it into 4 slabs to make it a bit more manageable. Evan requested them to be cooked in the slow cooker but I felt that it would be a good opportunity to bust out the Dutch oven (insert bad and immature jokes now) since the slow cooker has been the star of the kitchen as of late. Plus you can’t get that nice browned flavour in a slow cooker like you can in a Dutch oven (yes…more bad jokes…hardeeharhar…).

Starting on the stove top I seasoned the ribs with salt and pepper and browned them on both sides then put them aside. While the pot was still hot I added 2 chopped onions and 6 cloves of garlic and the BBQ sauce (I had about 2 cups left over from the pulled pork) plus a small can of tomato paste. In went all of the ribbies and then into the oven at 325 degrees for about 2 ½ hours. I rotated the ribs a few times to make sure they all got equal love from the BBQ sauce.

Finger lickin' good. Hell yah.

Finger lickin’ good. Hell yah.

They were fall-off-the-bone tender. I was actually really surprised at how tender they were after only 2 ½ hours in the oven. Evan thinks that it’s the magic in the Dutch oven; I think he might be right. Now I’m going to fall asleep in a pork coma while watching Super Troopers.

Tomorrow I’m going to make homemade bread and use the left over rib meat for sandwiches for dinner. Stay tuned for another post.

 

Thanks for reading. xo