Caramel Pork Ribs

July 22nd, 2017

Caramized Pork Ribs

I am part of a cookbook club sponsored by Food52 on Facebook.  Each month we cook from a different cookbook and post our results on the Facebook page.  This month’s book is David Leibovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.  David is an American in Paris and his cooking style reflects his unique take on his adopted city. Here he combines the American’s love of barbecue with a French twist of making a caramel sauce.  But forget the usual cream.  David uses beer and bourbon.

Caramalized Pork Ribs 2

The only thing difficult or scary about this recipe is when you add the beer to the caramelized sugar.  The mixture seizes up with solid chunks of sugar.  Do not worry about this as they dissolve in the oven as you cook the ribs.  A slow braise in the oven turns the ribs into succulent browned beauties.  I used country style ribs but I think David used baby back ribs.

Antique Mall

Sorry about the blurry photo, but I really liked this booth at an antique mall that I visited recently; especially the Lake Rules sign.


Entrance 1

But this is the sign that I bought recently.  My entrance porch is much too shady for real flowers so I found these faux lavender bunches that look almost real.  If only I could harness the scent.

Here is the recipe for the Caramel Pork Ribs.  They are worth the effort.

CARAMEL PORK RIBS (David Lebovitz My Paris Kitchen)


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar, light or dark
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 (1/2-inch/2cm) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons harissa, Sriracha sauce, or another hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pounds pork ribs, cut into 3- or 4-rib portions


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread the granulated sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a large pot with a cover, such as a roasting pan or a Dutch oven. Cook the sugar over medium heat until it starts to melt around the edges. When the liquefied sugar just starts to darken to a pale copper color, gently stir the sugar inward and continue to cook, stirring until the sugar is completely moistened. Continue to cook the sugar, stirring infrequently, until all of it is a deep copper-colored liquid, similar in color to dark maple syrup, and smoking (but not burnt). Turn off the heat and stir in the brown sugar, then add the beer. The mixture will seize and harden, which is normal.
  3. Let the mixture cool down a bit, then stir in the bourbon, cider vinegar, ketchup, ginger, soy sauce, harissa, mustard, and pepper. Put the ribs in the pot and turn on the heat until the sauce boils and bubbles up. Turn the ribs a few times in the liquid, cover, and roast in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the ribs are tender. During the roasting, remove the pot from the oven and turn the ribs over two or three times.
  4. Remove the lid from the pot and continue to roast, turning the ribs a few times, for 30 minutes more, or until the juices have thickened a bit. Remove the ribs from the oven, skim any visible fat from the surface of the liquid, and serve.

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Smoky, Tangy Greens and Beans

October 6th, 2016

Smoky Tangy Greens and Beans 1

It has been a delightful few days.  Tuesday was my birthday and all that I wanted was to spend a day and a night in Asheville, which is just 20 miles up and over the mountain from Lake Lure.  Asheville is such a vibrant town with fabulous restaurants, quirky shops and the kind of vibe that you would find in Greenwich Village in New York City.


Our first stop was lunch.  The restaurant that we had intended to visit was not open for lunch so we found an outside table at an obscure place on the main drag.  It was a beautiful sunny day and there were many people window shopping, strolling and dining.

Asheville Library

In the late afternoon we discovered a new business in the historic Grove Arcade.  It is Battery Park, a book exchange, champagne bar and espresso dog bar.  It was so welcoming with several rooms lined with bookshelves and intimate seating areas. We found a spot for two and then realized that we were sitting in the section that dealt with the history of our Presidents.  I was hoping to get away from politics for a few days.

Bone and Broth

Dinner was at a new restaurant called Bone and Broth.  It is a neighborhood pub situated between The Chop Shop Butchery, where it gets its local, organic meat and City Bakery where it gets its homemade bread.  The menu is reasonably priced with entrees such as Bangers and Mash and Macaroni and Cheese.  One of the appetizers is bone and broth soup.  Will have to try it on a future visit.

Bone and Broth DinnerI had the Bavette Rocket.  Bavette is a cut of meat next to the flank, sometimes called flap meat.  Cooked properly it very tender and flavorful.  It is one of the cuts carried at The Chop Shop next door.  It was served with roasted peppers, arugula and Parmesan, roasted potatoes, and City Bakery Toast.

Buxton Hall 1

But the main reason that we spent time in Asheville was to visit Buxton Hall Barbecue.  It was written up in Bon Appetit Magazine as one of the top 10 new restaurants in the U.S. for 2016.  Barbecue is what North Carolina is known for, so our standards are high.  Buxton Hall did not disappoint.

Buxton Hall BBQ Plate

I especially loved their greens and hushpuppies.  The pork was very good, but I have had better at small local joints.  My favorite way to eat barbecue pork is to order “outside brown”.  I should have asked if this was an option at Buxton Hall.   Basically it is pulled pork from the browned exterior of the pig.  It is crispy and melt in your mouth delicious.  But it was the Smoky Tangy Greens and Beans that brought us here.

Smliky Tangy Greens and Beans 2V

What makes these collard greens so delicious is the sweet, sour and hot combination achieved by adding brown sugar, vinegar and lots of hot sauce to the mix.  Bacon, lima beans and black eyed peas are the embellishments.  I had made these before we went to the restaurant, as they were featured in Bon Appetit.  But it turned out that David was way ahead of me.  It is the recipe that he has made a few times before.  I had not realized that he had the same recipe.

Smoky Greens and Beans

We had a great birthday trip.  We may do it again for David’s birthday later this month.  If you love collard greens, you will love these.



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups pork or chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • cup hot sauce (preferably Texas Pete)
  • 2 medium bunches of collard greens, stems trimmed, leaves chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 2 cups frozen lima beans and/or black-eyed peas
  • Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5–7 minutes; season with salt. Transfer to a plate.
  • Cook oil and bacon in same pot over medium-low, stirring often, until bacon is browned around the edges, 5–8 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes and black pepper, then add stock, vinegar, brown sugar, and hot sauce, then mix in collard greens and reduce heat to low. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are very tender but still have some chew, 60–70 minutes.
  • Uncover pot, add beans, and simmer until beans and greens are very tender and liquid is slightly reduced, 15–20 minutes. Season with salt. Serve topped with breadcrumbs.
  • Do Ahead: Collard greens can be cooked 1 day ahead. Let cool in liquid, then cover and chill. Reheat gently over low before adding beans.

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A Smoked Brisket and Potato Casserole

September 22nd, 2013

My husband has been obsessed with a new toy recently.  It has been fine with me because I never have to do any work to get the main dish on the table.  For a full week we have had such dishes as smoked butterflied chicken,  thick cut grilled steaks, pork ribs and this excellent smoked brisket.  Here is a picture of his new obsession.

It is a ceramic Kamado grill.  It is not a Green Egg, more like a Brown Egg.  We got such a deal on it that all thoughts of holding out for a Green Egg went out the window.  Plus it is made exactly the same.  David is very happy with it.  I took this picture after he took the brisket off of the grill.  All of the temperature probes were left dangling.  But notice that the gas grill has been shoved aside and the Kamado has pride of place under the umbrella.

David cooked the 4 pound brisket for 8 hours.  What you see is not burned.  That is the bark that develops after a long slow smoking on the grill.  If you are not smoking a whole brisket which can weigh from 10 to 12 pounds, the cut you should use is the second cut, sometimes called the point or the deckle.  Most supermarkets sell the first cut, or flat.  It is leaner, but is also tougher.  That is why most people braise a brisket in liquid.  You can find the second cut at specialty stores such as The Chop Shop in Asheville.  Or you can ask your local butcher for this cut.  All you will ever need to know about cooking a brisket on the grill and the recipe that David followed can be found on this website.

With the brisket I wanted to make a special potato dish.  I adapted a recipe from David Rocco for a potato cake.  Mashed potatoes are cooked in a casserole with bacon, sauteed onions and Parmesan cheese.  They are topped with cracker crumbs.  The potatoes were perfect with the brisket.  Here is the recipe.


8 medium potatoes, peeled
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
6 slices bacon, chopped and cooked crisp
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
3 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook potatoes in water to cover until tender.  Drain.  Place butter, cubed into a large bowl.  Using a potato ricer, rice potatoes into bowl over butter.  Add milk and mash together.  When partially cool, add beaten egg.

After bacon is cooked, place on paper towels.  Discard all but about 3 tablespoons of bacon fat.  Add onion and cook until onion is slightly browned.  Add bacon, onion and Parmesan cheese to the potatoes and mix together.

Place potato mixture into a greased casserole dish.  Mix crushed crackers with melted butter and sprinkle over the top.  Bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until cracker crumbs are golden brown.

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Chipotle Maple Barbecue Beef Brisket

March 4th, 2011

I am planning a get together for all of our friends here in Florida before we head back to North Carolina the first of April.  I would like it to be a pool party.  We have a lanai with a pool.  It is lovely to look at, but it is always too cold to use while we are here and that is driving me crazy.  What is the sense of having a pool if you can’t use it?  So I decided to invite people over at the end of the month to gather around the pool on the lanai and have cocktails and a buffet dinner.  I do not expect anyone to swim, but at least we can enjoy the ambiance.

So I am testing recipes.  This first recipe for chipotle maple barbecued beef brisket is very crowd friendly.  There are a few steps involved, but it can all be done ahead of time.  I have found that when a recipe has many components, it increases ithe flavor complexity greatly.  A large beef brisket is first massaged with a dry rub, placed in a marinade and marinated overnight.  Then a barbecue sauce in made with wonderful ingredients like chipotle chilies, maple syrup, apple cider, and crushed tomatoes.  The brisket is briefly charred on the grill and then placed in a large iron skillet or casserole with the sauce, marinade and beer and cooked for three hours in the oven.  At this point, after it has rested, the beef can be shredded and returned to the sauce.  I will do this the day before the party.  It will be served in a chafing dish with slider rolls or warmed tortillas on the side.  I used pita bread for our meal because it was what I had in the pantry.  It will also be accompanied by a delicious sweet potato salsa which I will tell you about in my next post.

CHIPOTLE MAPLE BARBECUE BEEF BRISKET ( recipe from Sarah Foster’s Fresh Every Day)

1 3 1/2 to 4 pound beef brisket, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Quito’s Butt Rub (recipe follows) or store-bought barbecue rub
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup Chipotle-Maple Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite bottled sauce
1 cup beer

1. Sprinkle the brisket with the butt rub.  Stir the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar together in a shallow dish; pour over the brisket and turn several times to coat the meat evenly.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Bring the meat to room temperature before cooking.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill.

3.  Remove the brisket from the marinade and place it over the hot coals to sear until the outside is slightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes per side.

4. Place the seared brisket in a large cast-iron or other overnproof skillet or casserole and pour the marinade over it.  Stir the one cup of barbecue sauce and the beer together and pour over the brisket.  Turn to coat the brisket evenly on all sides.

5. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil or a lid and roast the brisket for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until it pulls apart easily with a fork.  Remove brisket from sauce, let it rest covered with foil for 15 minutes and then shred with a fork.  Return it to the sauce.  It can be served now or cooled and refrigerated for future use.  Reheat gently over a low heat or warm in the oven.


Sarah explains that Quito is a barbecue aficionado from Tennessee who has won many contests on the barbecue circuit.

Makes about 1/2 cup

2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine the paprika, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, brown sugar, and cayenne in a small jar or an airtight container and shake to mix.  This spice rub will keep in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.


1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced
1 cup white vinegar
1/4 cupWorcerstershire sauce
1/2 cup apple cider
Juice of 2 lemons
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Colman’s dry mustard
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Combine the tomatoes, maple syrup, brown sugar, chipotle peppers, vinegar, Worcestershire, apple cider, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper in a heavy bottomed saucepan and stir to mix.  Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until the sauce is thick and reduced by about one quarter.  This sauce will keep refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.