Tag Archives: meat

Mom’s Ribs

These ribs bring me back the best of the summer…barbeques on the back deck, the smell of fresh cut grass, white wine spritzers, the warm sunshine glowing over the BC mountains…okay, you get it, right?  I feel as though there are at least a few more weeks of sunshine, warm temperatures and grilling left, so I thought I’d share this recipe with you – even though it is currently 6 degrees and raining today.  Even if summer is over, these ribs belong on your table and will be devoured, no matter what season it is.

This recipe isn’t fancy, it isn’t complicated, but it is definitely delicious.  My Mom has been making these for years, this is “her” rib recipe, and although I am sucker for dry ribs, I will never say no to these (even if they are slightly sweet!). These ribs absolutely meet the finger licking criteria, and everything else a good rib is supposed to deliver.

Enjoy!

Mom’s Ribs

Yield:  4 – 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2.5 hours

Ingredients – Ribs:

  • 2.5kg of pork or beef ribs (we prefer pork), cut into individual ribs
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 large green pepper, coarsely chopped
  • S&P

Ingredients – Rib Sauce:

  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcester sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp dry mustard

Directions:

In a large stockpot, place the ribs, onion, garlic, green pepper and a generous amount of salt & pepper.

Fill the pot with cold water, until it covers all of the ribs.

Over high heat, bring the water to roaring boil. Immediately once it reaches a hard boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.

While the ribs are cooking on the stove-top, place all of the sauce ingredients in a glass bowl and whisk together until well incorporated.

Once the ribs have been cooking for 1.5hrs, preheat the over to 275 degrees and line two baking sheets with tinfoil paper.

Remove the ribs from the stove, drain water and toss the ribs back into the pot.

Add all of sauce to the pot, and toss to coat – ensuring that each rib gets well coated.

Remove the ribs with tongs, and place individually on the baking sheet, allowing for a little room between each rib.

Bake at 275 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting the ribs occasionally with the leftover sauce (that is in your pot).

Serve with coleslaw, potato salad, cornbread, or spaghetti.

Recipe From JBean’s Mom’s Cuisine

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Filed under Mains

Bonjour from France and Bolognese & Vegetable Lasagna

Bonjour from France!  We arrived yesterday and are settling in just fine.  We’ve already had our first croissants, a couple glasses of French wine and one amazing dinner (I had escargots that were seriously incredible!).  We are off to look at an apartment this morning, hoping it’ll suffice for the 3 months. I have been meaning to post this recipe since I made it last week and it definitely seems odd that my first post in France is an Italian inspired recipe, but hey, same continent and if it’s good, it’s good! I can’t wait to start cooking French recipes in France, but that means I need a kitchen first – which hopefully by this afternoon I will have! In any event, bonne journée à vous et à bientôt (which means “good day to you and speak soon”).

_______

1 word describes this lasagna….WOW.

I had leftover bolognese sauce in the freezer and knew I had to use it up before we left for France.  The idea of the traditional spaghetti and bolognese sauce wasn’t doing it for me, but then the idea of lasagna popped into my head and I was set. My Mom makes amazing lasagna (as does my Matante – which is French Canadian for auntie!), so I had high-standards to meet.

I rose to the challenge and the combination of the bolognese sauce, spinach, zucchini and the various cheeses’ were incredible.  The bolognese sauce added an incredible depth of flavour to the lasagna – so much more that your typical tomato sauce.  With that said, feel free to use your favourite sauce in this recipe – a tomato sauce with sausage, a vegetable based tomato sauce or your own favourite bolognese sauce – really any sauce that you love will work well here (but I guarantee that my bolognese sauce is worth the effort!).

This made a huge lasagna, which was welcome news in our house as we had a very busy week with exams and preparing for France.  It is true that lasagna is one of those dishes that gets better over the next few days, and we enjoyed the leftovers, just as much as the first night.

Feel free to play around with the ingredients, I used what I had on hand and it turned out perfectly. But add in some carrots or eggplant, or use ricotta instead of cottage cheese – I love that lasagna is so versatile.  Just be sure to write everything down that you use, so that you can make it again.  I luckily had CH studying at the dining table and yelled out everything that I was using to him.  Now, if only I didn’t need a microscope and a language decoder to read his hand-writing, I would be set.

So, do yourself a favour and make a lasagna soon!  It is a lot of work, but as they say in French, ça vaut la peine. (it’s worth it).  You will be thankful for not only the delicious dinner, but the even better leftovers!

Enjoy!

JBean’s Bolognese Lasagna

Yield:  8 large servings (12 small-servings)
Prep Time:  30 minutes (not including bolognese sauce)
Cook Time: 1hr and 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 box of lasagna noodles (about 12 lasagna noodles – but cook a few extra just in case!)
  • 6 cups JBean’s Bolognese sauce (or sauce of your preference)
  • 2 cups canned whole tomatoes, puréed
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise very thinly
  • 1 tsp olive oil (for zucchini strips)
  • 6 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cottage cheese (I used 1%)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan, finely grated
  • 3.5 cups mozzarella, shredded
  • S&P

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook lasagna noodles as directed, until al dente.  Drain and set-aside until read to use.  Note – I usually lay the cooked noodles on my countertop (which I line with parchment paper), so that the noodles don’t stick together and they remain flat, ready for use!

Combine bolognese sauce and canned tomatoes together and warm in a large stockpot over medium heat.

Place zucchini strips on a baking sheet, brush lightly with olive oil and place under broiler for 2 – 3 minutes, until slightly limp.  Remove from oven and set-aside.

While the zucchini strips are broiling, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.   Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds.  Add the grated garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).  Add the spinach to the pan and cook until spinach is limp and most of the moisture has evaporated (about 2 – 3 minutes).  Remove from heat and set-aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup of parmesan and 3/4 cup of mozzarella.  Season with S&P and mix well.  Set-aside until ready for use.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Set a large 9×13 lasagna dish on top of a cookie/baking sheet and begin preparing your lasagna (I always set my lasagna dish on-top of a cookie sheet, just in case it decides to boil over a bit – easier clean-up – but this is optional)!

Begin by spreading 2 cups of the bolognese sauce on the bottom of your lasagna plan.   Top with 4 or so lasagna noodles (it will depend on your pan, but 4 should be perfect, slightly overlapping each noodle).

Next, layer the zucchini strips on top of the noodles. Spread 2 cups of bolognese sauce on top of the zucchini and sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella evenly over-top of the sauce.

Add the second layer of lasagna noodles (4 noodles, slightly overlapping).

Evenly spread the entire amount of the cottage cheese/egg mixture over the noodles.  Then, spread the spinach mixture evenly on-top.  Spread 2 cups of bolognese sauce over the spinach and top with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, ensuring that you are evenly (as best possible) covering it.

Top with the final layer of lasagna noodles (4 noodles, slightly overlapping) and evenly spread remaining bolognese sauce on-top of the noodles. At this point, you will have some remaining mozzarella and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese – that’s OK, keep reading!

Cover the lasagna pan tightly with foil and bake at 375 for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the foil, top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 20 – 25 minutes, allowing the cheeses’ to brown nicely.

Remove the lasagna from oven, cover loosely with foil and allow lasagna to stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

(NOTE: I personally cover my lasagna and cook it almost completely before adding the final cheese mixtures to the top, because I find the cheese tends to stick to the foil. I am all about maximum cheese, so I wait to add it.  If you don’t want to do this extra-step, simply add the remaining cheese to the top of your lasagna, cover with foil and bake as directed, removing the foil with 25 minutes remaining to allow the cheeses to brown).

Enjoy!

An Original JBean Cuisine Recipe

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Filed under Healthy, Italian, Mains, Uncategorized

What’s Baking: Traditional Tourtière (French-Canadian Meat Pie)

Our Italian Kitchen is the host of What’s Baking for the month of March!  The theme she has chosen is Bake From Your Nationality/Heritage, which literally make me leap with joy!  I knew immediately what I wanted to make.

Hopefully some of you have popped over and read a little “About Me” or about my cooking roots in my first post, Coconut Drop Cookies.  If not, very briefly, I am very proud of my French Canadian heritage.  My Memere and Pepere (French for grandparents) are no longer with us, but they are in our hearts and memories and my Memere lives on through my cooking.  This recipe is one of Memere’s pinnacle recipes.  She served this only on Christmas Eve and maybe one other time a year, and it is one that evokes wonderful happy family memories!

Tourtière is a traditional French-Canadian dish, originating apparently around 1611.  Every family has its own “original” recipe, passed down through the generations, so depending on the region your family is from, your recipe will reflect that!  Tourtière is served by generations of French-Canadian families throughout not only Canada, but also the bordering areas of the United States.  And, because I am a bit of a nerd, apparently tourtière got it’s name from the pie-pan used to cook it in, which was further named after the key ingredient, which was the cooked meat of the once abundant and now extinct passenger pigeon, the “Tourte(Thanks Wikipedia!).

Anyways, back to the recipe!

Before this weekend, I had never made pie dough from scratch.  Typically when I make this dish, which has only been a few times since my Aunt and/or Mom usually make it for the holidays, I buy pre-made dough from the grocery store!  But, when this months What’s Baking challenge was announced, I knew I had to dig out my Memere’s recipe and attack the crust from scratch too.

It was actually a cinch making the pie dough, especially with my KitchenAid mixer.  This dish is actually fairly easy to make from start to finish, but tastes as though you spent hours making it (or maybe you did, because it took that long to decipher the fuzzily scanned and emailed 30 year old hand-written recipe!).

The flavours of the dish are warm, welcoming and truly comforting.  For me, just the smell of the meat mixture cooking, smells like family gatherings at home.

I hope you give this French-Canadian specialty a try, I know you won’t be disappointed!

*Note, traditionally this is made into one large pie.  However, I prefer to make individual pies as it makes serving them easier, plus I think it’s quite fun having your own*

Memere’s Tourtière

Yield:  One 9inch pie ~or~ four individual 4inch pies
Prep Time:  10 minutes for pastry, 10 minutes for filling, 20 minutes to assemble
Cooking Time:  25 minutes for filling, 25 minutes to bake

Pie Pastry

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lb butter, cut into 1 inch squares and kept very cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 cups ice cold water
  • 4 disposable tinfoil pie plates (4inch diameter)
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp of water, beat together to create egg wash

Directions:

Slice your butter into small 1-inch squares.  Place in a bowl and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

In a large bowl, place 1 cup of ice and fill with 2 cups of cold water.  Set aside.

Using a one-cup measuring cup, break in the egg and add the vinegar.  Using the ice-cold water, add enough water to make 1 cup of liquid, including the egg and vinegar.

Place the flour, salt, baking powder and brown sugar in your KitchenAid bowl, fitted with your wire whip.  Mix to combine the ingredients.

Turn on your KitchenAid mixer to a medium speed, remove butter from fridge and add to the flour mixture.  Mix until butter is well integrated and only small clumps of butter/flour remain (no bigger than the size of a pea).

Switch the wire whip to your flat beater.  While still on a low speed, sprinkle the egg/water mixture into the flour mixture.  Mix until flour mixture comes together and forms a loose ball when pressed in your hands.  (Note – the mixture will not form a complete ball, but you should be able to form a ball that stays together). Do not knead the mixture and try to work as little as possible.

Divide dough mixture into 12 pieces.  Wrap each piece with plastic wrap and place in fridge to rest while you prepare the filling.

(Note – you will only need 8 pieces for the recipe below.   You can freeze the additional pieces in a freezer bag for 3-6 months)

Tourtière Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp savory
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Directions:

Place all ingredients, except breadcrumbs, in a medium sized saucepan.  Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a rolling boil.  Reduce to a simmer and allow mixture to cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs.  Stir well.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

If mixture is still quite wet, add in more breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is still moist but not drippy.

Set aside to cool while you roll-out pastry dough.

Final Assembly

Preheat oven to 375F.

Sprinkle a clean working surface with flour.  Place one of the disks of dough in the center of the surface and working outwards, using your rolling pin, roll the dough into approximately a 5 inch circle. Flip the dough occasionally as you roll it out, to get an even circle.

Place the rolled out dough into the tinfoil pie pan.  Gently push the dough into the corners and bottom of the pan.  If needed, trim the edges.

Repeat with 3 additional bottom crusts.

Fill the pie crusts with tourtiere filling and brush the edges of the crust with egg wash.

Roll out the 4 additional pieces of pie dough, using the instructions above.  Drape over the filled bottom crusts.  Trim the edges to the same size as the bottom crusts and fold the edges together to form a clean edge.  You can crimp or scallop the edges to your liking.

Cut three or four slices in the top of the crusts to vent the tourtiere.  You can do simple slices or be creative and do some decorative holes!  Using the egg wash mixture, brush the top of the pie crust.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until dough is golden brown and mixture is steaming.

Serve with a homemade gravy [CH: I pour mine on top, through the vents, but not too much is needed], mashed potatoes and some green beans!

Recipe from JBean’s Family Kitchen (and slight adaptations by JBean herself!)

One final note, these can be made ahead and frozen.  Simply prepare until you reach the baking step, double wrap the tourtiere in plastic wrap, one final wrap in tinfoil and then freeze.  When ready to bake, remove from freezer the morning you plan to bake it, and continue as planned.

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Filed under French, Mains, Quebecois