Applebee’s might be a good place to run to when you get a craving for ribs, but sometimes it is nice to slow down and get to know that place you are supposed to call “home”.
The other day the library had a book, America’s Best Ribs, on display, so I decided to check it out. BBQ was actually part of culinary training when I was in school, but I hadn’t retained much of the information either filed away on paper or in my head.
When considering meat preparation, it may surprise people to know that (usually) simple is better. Seasonings are used to enhance the flavor of your dish, not disguise it. Although sauces can be used in cooking, often it is better to serve them as an optional condiment.
Yesterday I pulled out a small pork loin that was on sale at Kroger; it wasn’t a rack of ribs, but it was still pork. After removing it from the plastic packaging, I rinsed it and patted it dry. Not sure about the fat, I consulted a few internet sites before deciding not to trim it off. Their reasoning was that it would make the meat more moist. Next, I sifted together sugar, paprika, salt and black pepper, then sprinkled it over the pork loin.
The book had mentioned a few things about these ingredients:
Cane sugar is preferred over beet sugar, because the grains are smaller and can thus give better coverage.
Iodized salt is more bitter than sea or Kosher salts.
Paprika is good for color as well as flavor.
Pork in a shallow pan, I sprinkled the rub over it so that the entire surface was covered. After 10 minutes, I seared the pork loin in a frying pan to seal in the juices. Then I placed it in a crock pot set on low, lay two bay leaves on top and shook some balsamic vinegar over it before squeezing a line of honey over everything.
When I came home from a ladies’ Bible study at church several hours later, it was done, but not quite as tender as I prefer. That was fine, because Joel wouldn’t be home for at least another 4 hours. I put the lid back on and let it be.
Mom & Dad stopped by to tell me about some thrift store finds, so we went out and came back in time to put together a complete meal that evening.
Pork: slow, simple & successful.