Maple Smoked Ribs

So I decided I wanted to make ribs, I hadn’t done any pork in a while.  CJ isn’t the biggest fan of ribs but I have to cook them every once in a while.  Then I found out baby back ribs were on sale so I was set.  I found a recipe that called for a maple glaze and I thought that would be great. Fall in the air and such.  I cleaned and rubbed 3 racks of baby backs very lightly with rub and threw them on the smoker with some apple wood and charcoal.

This is the ribs after I got the smoker up to temp.  You will notice there isn’t that much rub on the ribs.  I think most people add too much but anyway there was going to be a maple glaze coming so you don’t want to over do it.

I boiled down one cup of apple juice a 1/4 cup of maple syrup and bit of hot sauce until it make a glaze.  About half an hour before the ribs are done I coated them in the glaze.

I think if I do this next time I am going to double the glaze, put a coat on one hour before they come off and 30 minutes before they come off to get a little more of that flavor.

The ribs overall were pretty good. I didn’t cook them as well as I could have.  I didn’t wrap them in foil which I should have, and then applied the double coat of the glaze after unwrapping them and I think it would have been much better.  Always next time right?


Aquaponics Update 1Oct2012


Couple pictures of the fish, we are down to 4 but one of them as you might be able to see is pretty large.  I was told that this is what I should have started with a long time ago.  We will see how it goes.

Another picture of the fish, they do all the work.

You can kind of see the burned plants, I didn’t raise the lights quick enough and they touched the bulbs and burned.  I planted these two weeks ago I didn’t realize how quick they would take off.

Another pic of the burnt plants, My B!

Much better picture of the whole mess.  I basically threw a bunch of leftover seeds in the grow bed mostly to see what would work.  Seems like Cat Nip and Tomatoes are doing well.  Tomatoes won’t fruit though unless I buy some more expensive lights, but once again we will see.

A healthy crop of cat nip for our feline friend.  You can see I think there is some dill mixed in the back.

This is with the lights on.  It is hard to see but there are little plants in the back left.

Really I have been neglecting the Aquaponics experiment over the summer, now that things are slowing down a little bit I will be playing around more.  One of these posts I am going to take some video and show how the whole thing works.  I generally keep the lights covered with giant pieces of aluminum foil in order to keep as much of the light reflecting down as possible.  I am looking at some other less ghetto options but so far it is the leader.

Company Pot Roast

So those of you in New England know we had a pretty crappy weekend weather wise.  I figured it was time to break out a recipe that I loved in the past, Company Pot Roast.  I stole this from a wonderful blog called Ezra Pound Cake who stole it from Ina on the Food Network.  I would like to offer a few suggestions for how to make it better.  I followed the recipe below and it was very good but I recall that I combined the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen and that was the best Pot Roast ever.  The change I would suggest after removing the meat from the dutch oven drain the sauce and then cook vegetables separately.  This recipe calls for using the vegetables as a thickener and it  was a little too stew like for my taste and the vegetables after being cooked for 3ish hours were way too mushy to provide anything.  My suggestion take it or leave it.  It was great otherwise.  I will be trying to my way the next time and will keep you posted.

Company Pot Roast

  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) prime (or choice) boneless beef chuck roast, tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 branches fresh thyme
  • 2 branches fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Place the tied beef in a large baking dish, and pat it dry with a paper towel. Season it roast all over with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the roast, and sear it on one side for 4 to 5 minutes, until it’s nicely browned. Using a carving fork, turn and sear the other side of the beef. Then brown the ends.
  4. Using the carving fork or a wide, heavy-duty spatula, transfer the roast to a large plate. (Be careful not to scrape the seared crust off of your meat.)
  5. Return to the Dutch oven, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Cook the vegetables over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender but not browned.
  6. Add the wine and Cognac. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  7. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string, and add them to the pot.
  8. Put the roast back into the Dutch oven, bring everything to a boil, and cover the pot.
  9. The Dutch oven will be heavy, so carefully lift the pot and slide it into the oven. After 1 hour, turn the heat down to 250 degrees F to keep the sauce at a simmer. Let the meat cook for another hour, and start checking it for doneness. The meat should be fork tender (or about 160 degrees F) after a total of 2 to 2-1/2 hours spent in the oven.
  10. Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Tent it loosely with foil to keep it warm.
  11. Remove the herb bundle from the pot, and throw it away.
  12. Let the liquid in the pot settle for about 5 minutes. Then, using a wide spoon, skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and puree until smooth. (Or, use an immersion blender directly in the Dutch oven.) Pour the puree back into the pot, place the pot on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer.
  13. Place 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl, and mash them together with a fork. Stir the mixture into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings.
  14. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.



Post Oven with a side of Asparagus

Sorry for the lack of pictures I was trying to cook and fit all this in with the Patriots game and I lost track of things.  Next time we will do a better job.

Disc Golf Pictures

This is a road we drove down with Kyle’s car darn Google Maps!


This is the disc golf hole where I got my hole in one.  Unfortunately you can’t see the basket from the tee box.  The disc hitting the chains is one of the sweetest sounds out there.

This is from the basket looking up at the tee box.

Some mushrooms we found on the disc golf course.


Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches

Another smoked Sunday meal.  I love pastrami and its Montreal cousin smoked meat sandwiches.  Some rye bread and a little mustard and life is good.  I kind of cheated a little bit and started with a pre made corned beef.  I just didn’t have the week necessary to brine my own brisket.  My inspiration came from Serious Eats one of my favorite websites.  Recipe can be found here.  You can find the brine recipe on that site as well but as I said I started with a corned beef from the grocery store.

  • For the rub
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2-3 fist-size chunks of medium smoking wood, such as oak or hickory

One thing that you have to do that you might not think about is you need to soak the corned beef, I soaked it for two hours and changed the water every 30 minutes.  Dried off the corned beef and applied the rub.  I applied the rub, wrapped it in plastic and then let it sit overnight.  Next morning I threw it on the smoker and let it cook till 160 about 4 hours.  Then I wrapped it in foil and let it hang out.  About two hours before guests arrived for football.  I tossed the pastrami in the steamer and steamed it until it reached 180.  Pulled it out and let it rest until everyone was ready to eat.  I left it wrapped in the foil because I didn’t want the rub to come off.



Pork Shoulder Rottisserie Car Siu Style

I know I have neglected you food blog.  One of my wonderful friends Friday afternoon called me on it and I felt embarrassed that I have not done more with this.  Believe it or not I didn’t stop cooking, I haven’t done as much during the week we have been living on frozen Trader Joe’s frozen meals.  Anywho, I still make a meal on Sunday for football.  Looks like I made this in the spring from the time stamp of the pictures.  So you get a chunk of pork shoulder which is rather cheap.  Marinate it in Hoisin, soy, garlic, you know the usual players.


  • 3 1/2 to 4 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast (boneless)


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (or 1 tbsp garlic powder)
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated (or 2 tsp dried ginger)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or dry sherry)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil


  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce

recipe taken from

Make sure to stab the roast and slice it in half, put it in a plastic bag with the marinade and let it sit overnight.  Pull out the roast and wrap it with butchers twine.


Put the meat on the spit and put the spit on the grill.  350 degrees for about 2 hours and it will be perfect.  I tend to cook this until it is about 175 this is not something you want “medium rare” for the lack of a better term.  It is pork shoulder remember so it has lots of connective tissue that needs to melt before it will be tender.

When the meat gets to about 175 I like to apply the glaze and make sure that bakes on, you can see the foil in the bottom of the pan, mine was getting a little brown early so a wrapped it in foil to make sure it didn’t burn, this is not like BBQ you should open up the lid and check it often (but not too often) maybe 3 to 4 times throughout the two hours.

After the meat has rested.  I can’t believe it but I don’t seem to have any pictures of the meat sliced.  This was really good though it basically tasted like boneless pork spare ribs.

Reuben Dip

So I was looking at a great website for user submitted recipes and ratings.  I was looking over their football food and I saw Reuben Dip and it was love at first site.  As you see below it isn’t the most attractive of foods.  But I love reubens but they are kind of a pain to make for football food because they take a while to grill and can’t really make them ahead of time.  But the dip is basically the same flavors as a Reuben sandwich, we even found some rye crackers to have with it.  Basically everything is dump into the slowcooker and stir once in a while.

Slow Cooker Reuben Dip


  • 1 (16 ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cooked corned beef
  • 1/4 cup thousand island dressing

Dump in slow cooker turn on high for about 45 minutes and then turn to warm until there is no more left.

I just poured all the above ingredients in the slow cooker.

After 45 minutes on high in the slow cooker.

It was really pretty awesome.  I highly recommend making this for your next party and for gods sake do not make this if you don’t have a lot of people to share.  You will end up making yourself ill I promise.