This is the last full week of summer school, and I am yearning for my summer to start. I’m not even the teacher of the small, 5 child class, I’m an aide! But man, three and four-year-olds are draining. Especially after just finishing a long school year. Say what you will about “how much time teachers get off”, but we work out butts off during the school year. We direly need that time to recharge and get ready for the next round.
I am getting nervous about my triathlon this weekend. I’ve done an OK job training, but with my quad injury I have not been running as much as necessary for an event like this. I finally seemed to have gotten the whole thing figured out (chiropractic care, baby!), but it’s too late now to catch up*. I know I’m not going to set any personal bests, but I will walk away feeling incredibly sore with a burn in my legs and arms and a sense of pride in my heart. Because that’s what it’s all about right? Staying active and challenging yourself feels great.
This is true for most things, including cooking. It’s important to remember that there are bumps in the road, that not everything turns out perfect and beautiful. Lately, I have had quite a few things flop in the kitchen. I am learning everyday, and of course I make all kinds of mistakes. I have had several great ideas turn out flat, each of which has made me feel slightly more upset. The important thing, though, is to learn from mistakes and then try again. I finally found success again with these rib tips.
Usually, Kenny is in charge of the barbecue. I have watched him countless times making ribs, with spectacular results. Usually it involves roasting them in our oven for a few hours. This is an incredible waste of energy in the summer time, which leaves me looking for alternatives.
I recently got a pressure cooker, so I thought that I might try my hands with these in a non oven cook. On the first attempt I cooked them in the pressure cooker and they were mediocre. Sigh, I told myself. Another failure? The second day, I came to my senses and realized they weren’t bad, they just weren’t finished. I seared them in the cast-iron pan and brushed it with my favorite barbecue sauce, Sweet Baby Rays, and BOOM. They were to die for. The slaw tasted great even the next day! It will probably last you 3 or 4 days… I’m thinking I’m going to use the rest on fish tacos tomorrow. With a few added ingredients you’ve got grilled sesame-crusted tuna tacos (see archives)!
I normally like a lot of mayonnaise on my coleslaw, but I have tried vinegar versions at different places. It is much healthier, but does t sacrifice taste? I decided to try my hand at a vinegar-based coleslaw, and it turned out so well. At first I wasn’t too sure it was going to be a success, but as I was eating the rib tips, I found myself shoveling the slaw into my mouth with reckless abandon. It’s so light and crunchy, slightly sweet, citrus-y. I couldn’t help myself. Perhaps it was the thrill of success after a long drought, but this meal was satisfying on so many levels.
*Though the chiro helped a little, it didn’t fix the problem. A few doctors later, I was finally diagnosed with a torn labrum in my right hip and had surgery in July of 2017 to fix it. Never give up looking for the answer! Remember, doctors are people just like you. Be informed, and keep pursuing.
BBQ Rib Tips & Light Summer SlawPrint Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 4 pounds rib tips
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
- 6 garlic cloves, divided
- About 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 16-oz. bottle ketchup
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 red cabbage, shredded
- 4 medium carrots, shredded
- 4 to 5 small radishes, shredded
- 1/4 large red onion shredded, about 1/4 cup
- 3 ears of corn
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of 3 limes, about 2 tablespoons juice
First, prepare the pork rib tips. In a pressure cooker or large sauce pan, combine the wine, juice one 1 lime and and the lime itself, 2 cloves smashed garlic, salt and pepper, and rip tips. Stir to combine. If using a pressure cooker, fix the lid, set on level two, heat over high heat until pressure lever is risen. Lower the heat so that pressure stays constant at the lowest possible heat, and cook for 45 minutes. If using a pan, cover and bring liquid to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, keeping the pot covered, and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Prepare the BBQ. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. Sauté onion and 4 cloves minced garlic about 5 minutes until translucent. Stir in ketchup, dark brown sugar, vinegar, apple juice, honey, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
During this time, prepare the slaw. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil the ears of corn for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool. Shred cabbage, carrots, red onions and radishes, and combine. Once corn is cool, remove the kernels into the slaw. In a separate bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, white sugar lime juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt-and-pepper to the vegetables. Stir into the slaw.
Once the pork is done cooking, remove the pot from heat. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium high heat. When smoking hot, add the pork rib tips (as much as will fit in a single layer on the pan ) and sear for about two minutes each side. After the first flip, use a brush to brush the barbecue sauce over the tops of the rib tips. Flip once more, placing the rib tip back on its original Already seared side, and brush the other side with barbecue sauce. Remove from heat.
Serve with slaw.
The BBQ sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 month.