Just in time for Memorial Day, I offer you ribs

St-Louis Style Ribs.

The day of the Darlington Duel, we sent this little video over to Ken (the boy’s competition) to egg him on, in a healthy and gentle way of course.

We smoked our ribs (we've done this before, you can read about it here. Soak some wood chips (flavor of your choice) in a little beer and water. If you’re going to use a smoker, scroll down to about half way on this page to the “Do This” section, and follow steps 1 through 3, skip step 4, then go on to step 5. If you don’t have a smoker but are smoking the ribs via the gas or charcoal grill way, do include step 4. Skip step 9 and 10.

Steps steps steps. Yeah. Basically, your ribs are ready after 4 hours.

When ready, when the ribs have been hauled out and let to cool a bit, cut up and serve with the barbecue sauce of your choice. I always like to make a couple of different ones. I myself am a spicy barbecue sauce aficionado, but not everyone is, so I also make a sweet sauce, and have these handy in separate squeeze bottles.

Cheddar and Candied Bacon Cornbread.

I could dazzle you all and say I made the whole thing from scratch. However, I wont lie to you. I used the packets of Jiffy corn muffin mix that one can get for about 70 cents at the grocery store, and just doctored it up. How very Sandra Lee of me. It honestly doesn’t take that much more time, if any, to whip up a batch without the Jiffy boxes, but what can I say. I really don’t have an excuse for you.

Cheddar and Candied Bacon Cornbread - makes one 8 inch square pan or round cake pan

One box Jiffy corn muffin mix
One egg
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons of regular plain white sugar
½ cup cheddar plus a little extra to sprinkle on top
three strips of candied bacon, the David Lebovitz way, chopped up (save a little extra to the side to sprinkle on top)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Butter an 8 inch square or round cake pan, and line with parchment. Joe Pastry tells you how to do so the correct and nifty way right here. If you don’t have any parchment handy, you can generously butter the pan, flour it, covering all the interior surfaces, and tap out the excess over the sink.

3. Empty package of muffin mix into a large bowl. Add the egg, the milk, the sugar, and mix together. add the cheddar and gently mix together. add the chopped up candied bacon and barely mix together. let it sit for about 5 minutes before pouring into your prepared pan, evening out the top with a rubber spatula. I don’t remember which source I got it from (maybe an old Alton Brown episode), but letting the batter sit before pouring into the pan helps thicken it. You can really omit this step if you are on a time crunch.

4. Toss into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, at which point you haul it out. Sprinkle the reserved cheddar and candied bacon on top, and toss back into the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan before inverting pan onto a baking rack. Remove parchment (if used), flip it right side up, cut into pieces and eat.

Due to the addition cheddar, this cornbread is a bit cakelike, and is denser than regular cornbread.

And now let me tell you how amusing it was when I nearly burned down the house the night before while candying bacon. Actually it wasn’t that amusing. The house stunk of burnt caramel with a whisp of eau de bacon all night. I followed David Lebovitz’ s steps for candying bacon, but instead of paying attention to his recipe like a good girl, I added too much brown sugar, thinking more is better. i shoulda stuck with the old architecture adage "Less is More". I also stupidly didn’t bother to check it after a couple of minutes in, but just let it rip in the oven for 8 minutes before turning it over for another long 8 minutes. That batch came out black as onyx and totally inedible, as well as setting off the smoke detector. You live and learn. I started over, this time with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar evenly pressed into each slice of bacon, and flipped it every 2 minutes. I hauled it out when it looked like gorgeously glossy cooked bacon, not like the top of a black lacquered box. Let cool before chopping up or snacking on. Some of the pieces didn’t render out all their fat, so just cut those bits off and throw away (or eat when no one is looking so they can’t make you feel badly about eating candied bacon fat).


ntsc said…
Candied bacon fat!? Only if crisp.

I'm going to do lardo soon. I've got the 5 pound piece of fat back.
french tart said…
you said the magic words: fat back. umyummm.
Flip Cub said…
And I must ask if you ate this before or after your 5k. Missy. Inquiring minds want to know.
french tart said…
FC, nah. before the race, i had a cup of coffee, a glass of Odwalla Superfoods, and one of those 5 Hour Energy Drinks that tasted just like Tang.

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