Beef Plate Ribs

Aaron Franklin reports his favorite chunk of BBQ happens to be beef ribs.  Not the small beef back rib rack you can find in any grocery store but beef PLATE ribs that come from the underside of the cow. These ribs are enormous, they look like dinosaur ribs. The ribs have incredibly marbled meat that sits on top of the ribs.

I found these at Red Raider Meats last week. They are very easy to cook – rub with kosher salt and pepper, smoke at 285 until done.

There’s almost no trimming necessary, no need to wrap in foil and all that mess.  Just smoke em’ till they’re done.


I got my 6 pound rack started on the smoker at 9 in the morning, they were done right at 5 o’clock.

I let them rest for 30 and cut into them, not that you needed a knife. Seriously – these things were soft.  The flavor is pretty good although I don’t think this is my favorite cut of BBQ.  They meat tastes like pot roast but with twice the flavor and 4 times the softness. You can literally put a finger into the meat and pinch out a chunk. Even Catalina liked them:




Sirloin Steak + Miso Butter + Asparagus & Mushrooms

We had a nice dinner this week from the Jan/Feb edition of Cooking Light:

IMG_2178 IMG_2175 IMG_2179

Catalina and I started the brown rice up front because it takes 50 minutes to simmer.  We’re not opposed to instant brown rice in the house but I prefer the delightful chewy texture of good brown rice.  The recipe calls for baking asparagus and sliced shiitake mushrooms – our grocery store only had shiitake mushrooms in a bag that require soaking/rehydration.  The shiitake’s were still chewy despite a good long soak, I will never use dehydrated mushrooms again.  I should have subbed in button or portabella mushrooms instead.

The butter/miso mixture includes 2 tablespoons of soft butter mixed with 1 tablespoon of white miso paste, it is used to coat the steak after being sautéed.

And the final product:

IMG_2183Although not the best dish of the week it was still extremely good.  The miso/butter covered steak was excellent.  The brown rice had a splash of rice vinegar and dark sesame oil stirred in at the end and had a very nice tang to it.  The asparagus that baked at 425 for 10 minutes was also perfect. The only thing that downgraded the experience were the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms that were chewy and not pleasant. This missed out on being a 2015 Favorite due to the non-fresh mushrooms.

– JB –

Orange and Tomato Simmered Chicken with Couscous

Another weekend recipe, straight from this month’s Cooking Light is the Orange and Tomato Simmered Chicken with Couscous.

The recipe is about 20 minutes hands-on and total time 30 minutes. We held to the recipe closely, just deleting the fennel bulb, because honestly who wants that awful taste in their mouth? Honestly? Every member of the Brinker Family hates fennel.

Catalina was again a big help, cooking seems to her thing at this age.  She doesn’t shy away from handling any type of food, cooked or raw. Here’s Catalina making the couscous and prepping the Chicken Thighs:

IMG_2133  IMG_2134  IMG_2135

After the thighs were braised we set them aside and aromatized the onions, carrots, garlic, and then added the cinnamon, kalamata olives, squeezed oranges, and 1 can of diced tomatoes.  We were a little heavy handed with the kalamata olives.

IMG_2136 IMG_2138 IMG_2137

After combining everything the thighs were returned to the pan to finish cooking covered for 20 minutes.

IMG_2139The end results:


Amazing, everyone agreed the kalamata and tomato sauce was excellent.  Chicken thighs being hard to screw up this recipe is a winner, timely and delicious. I can’t recommend this recipe highly enough.

– JB –