Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dinner on the Deck: Country-Style Ribs and Bacon Potato Salad

This is old news; it's our dinner from Sunday evening. But I wanted to tell you how I prepare country-style pork ribs and also share the recipe for Bacon Potato Salad.

Country-style pork ribs aren't really ribs at all, and can refer to different cuts of meat depending on where in the country they are sold. Around here, they are usually thick bone-in cuts from the pork loin, with both light and dark meat. Sometimes they are sold boneless. Most recently I found them very reasonably priced as a boneless slab, which was nothing more than a 12" chunk of pork loin that had been butterflied. I sliced the slab into "ribs" about 1-1/2" thick.

Too lessen any fat (this time, they were quite lean) and to help tenderize them, I simmered the ribs in water for about 30 minutes. I did this early in the day, so I covered them and put them in the fridge until we were ready for dinner. Although they were fully-cooked at this point, Shane put the cold ribs on a medium-heat charcoal grill (with a little hickory wood added) until they were hot inside, basting them with BBQ sauce several times as they warmed.

That's all there is too it! They were very tender and full of flavor. They can also be finished off in the oven instead of the grill. Just put them in a baking dish, slather them with BBQ sauce, cover with foil and bake at 350°F. until they are heated through.

Now, the potato salad. I started with this recipe for Sour Cream Potato Salad and found at the last minute that I didn't have any sour cream and didn't want to run out to get any. However, I did have kefir, which is a lot like thin, plain yogurt. I used it instead of sour cream, doubled the bacon, and added a few other ingredients, coming up with one of the best non-mustard-based potato salad I've ever made. I'm not in the habit of fixing something entirely different for Kat when I know she won't eat what Shane and I are having, but I don't mind setting a portion aside before I add the "offensive" ingredients. Kat's portion of this salad didn't have green onions in it.

Note: This salad was quite salty at first, but the potatoes and eggs absorbed most of the salt after it had time to rest. You still may want to decrease the salt if it's of concern to your diet or taste buds.

Bacon Potato Salad

10 medium russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into large dice
3 eggs, boiled and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (I like mayo, but I used Miracle Whip this time for the "tangy zip")
1/2 cup kefir (could use plain yogurt or sour cream)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry dill weed
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons dill pickle brine (can add pickles if you like, we'd finished off the jar earlier that day and did not have any)
6 slices of bacon, crisply fried, then crumbled
1 Tablespoon dried parsley (use fresh if you have it)
4 green onions, both green and white portion, chopped

Cook diced potatoes in boiling water just until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and cool to room temperature.

In small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients. Fold dressing into potatoes until well coated.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.

Makes about 8 servings.


Heidi said...

What a yummy looking meal. I've never saw those boneless "ribs" before. I will have to look for them at the grocery store. I hate that normal ribs don't have much meat, so this would solve that problem!

Anonymous said...

The potato salad looks amazing! I'm going to have to try this one!! Thank you!