Baby’s got back… and ribs

I’m still stressed. This means I’m still cooking. Except this time I’m testing out a recipe for a bbq we are hosting this weekend (Ironically I’m not stressed about this at all, although I should be since we have ordered, cleaned, bought nothing for it). Anyway, if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a life long vegetarian it’s that bbqs mean meat. Usually even the veggie burger is cooked in a nice layer of beef fat left over on the grill. So this time – instead of a vegan veggie friendly recipe… I’m working on ribs. Baby back ribs.

Nothing reduces stress like smelling pork for 4 hours… I read that on a pillow.

I followed about 4 different recipes that I mashed up.

Basically you take a rack of baby back ribs… make sure your babies have some fat to them. This isn’t a time for lean mean pork ribs.

A dry rub needs to go on overnight (or two). You can mix any of the following: salt, onion powder, garlic powder, a packaged mix – like I did. BUT the key is this… add a cup of brown sugar to whatever mix you end up with. I also added a dash of cayenne to shake shit up.

Once marinated – bring to room temperature. Fully. I’m talking 2 hours outside on the counter hanging out. Do it.

Preheat your oven to 250 and add a cup of chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of any vinegar you have to the pan. I used white wine vinegar. These two things help the cooking/tenderizing process – according to Alton Brown circa 1997. Here’s the rub I used if you’re curious.

Cover tightly and leave it alone in your heated oven for 2.27 hours (I only tested this with one rack of ribs so 3 hours was too long and 2 seemed too short. 2.27 seemed right).

This is what it will look like. Mine came apart when I tried to lift it. A good sign.

Don’t get rid of the juices on the bottom. Strain and add to your favorite bbq sauce. My family loves this one. I haven’t found anything veggie to put bbq sauce on so I have no idea if it’s really good or if my family just has simple tastes – both could also be true.

Smother on the sauce and grill on high. Shouldn’t take long.

Baste, grill, repeat.

Cut them up like porky, sticky lollipops and you’re done!

Stress gone. Meat delivered.

How a Vegetarian Does Steak

My cousin came to visit today and I busted out my grilled steak.   hmmm.  You’re shocked I cook steak?  Me too. It took me a long time.  Many years of wearing ziploc bags as gloves to handle meat, fish and fowl have gone into what you see before you.  How does it taste?  I dunno.  Either I’ve become a really adept vegetarian who cooks non-veg….or my family will eat anything anyone will give them.  It could go either way.

Here’s how I did it – (note that when I was taking a picture of the ingredients for grilled steak, I forgot the steak.  So later I dug the wrapper out of the garbage and took a picture – I’m sure Martha Stewart went through the same stuff)

You’ll need 3 steaks for this – here’s what I used (my son and I had PB&J fyi)


Get cheap steak, expensive steak, flank, rib eye, sirloin, whatever.  This marinate will turn any little cut into a dreamy thing (your dreams, not my dreams)

Put the steaks in a deep dish to marinate with:

1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of kosher salt (is there any other kind)

4 heaping tablespoons of Montreal Steak mix (thank you Canada)

2 teaspoons of garlic powder (if you have fresh garlic, use it and stop judging me please)

Combine the honey and Worcestershire sauce and set aside.

No matter how grossed out you are – rub the steaks with the salt, steak mix and garlic powder.  All the good cooks of the world  say to “massage” the meat.  I don’t do all that.  My technique is more sprinkling on and cringing while quickly spreading the stuff around.  Imagine a face after sucking on a tart lemon – that’s me.  Semi-disgusted and puckered up (with love ofcourse).

Now dump the ‘shire and honey mixture on top and let sit – for however long you have.  Overnight is ideal, a few hours will work, even 1/2 an hour before cooking does the trick.

It should look like this….

Heat your grill on high – here’s our grill.  Ignore the beer. The original title of this post was supposed to be – Beer really helps a vegetarian cook steak. 

4 minutes on each side for medium rare – sometimes I get nervous and pull it early.  I hear you go to jail for overcooked steak.

There you go!  Simple but effective.  Now go buy all the sides and serve up dinner.