Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: meat

Rib Rub

My husband loves to use his smoker.  Over the past 8 years he has gone through 3 smaller, less expensive smokers.  Finally, two years ago, he decided to invest in a really good smoker which he has been very happy with.  The day it was delivered I was home alone, and when the UPS guy took if off the truck, I thought for sure my husband had decided to plan for his funeral and order a large stainless steel casket.  The thing is taller than me (which is not saying much since I’m barely 5′ tall myself). 

The fact that we live in the Northeast and are dealing with temperatures in the low teens does not deter him from getting out there and smoking up some form of meat.  It doesn’t stop us from using our BBQ all winter long either.  I’m sure our neighbors probably think we are crazy, but so what!  At least we are eating good!

He had a craving for some pork ribs the other day so he picked up a rack of them.  These are spare ribs, not to be confused with baby back ribs.  They didn’t have those, so we made do with these.  There is truly no set recipe for this Rib Rub.  I could give you measurements, but they would be off depending on the size of the ribs you are using and how you decide to prepare them.   So instead, I’ll tell you what we used and you can go from there. 

First get the ribs out of the packaging and pat them dry with some paper towels.  Then rub them down, both sides, with a couple tablespoons of Canola Oil.  I cut the rack of them in half because they are easier to work with that way.

In a bowl, mix up the dry ingredients for the rub.  This can vary, and very often does in our house, depending on what you have on hand.  I don’t know that I have ever made the same rub twice.  This time I used some Lawry’s Seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, fresh ground black pepper, a smidgen of cayenne pepper, and some brown sugar.

Mix together all the dry ingredients, and then rub it all over the ribs, both front, back and sides. 

After, place the ribs in a large container – I used aluminum foil – cover and refrigerate overnight.  My husband smoked these for about 6 to 8 hours and they came out perfectly tender and juicy. 

You could barbecue them as well.  What I normally do if we are going to barbecue them is to first cover them and allow them to bake in the oven set at 300 for about an hour and a half.  Then pull them out and barbecue them until they are nice and browned. 

They were the perfect fix for his mid winter barbecue craving.


Christmas Dinner

How was your Christmas dinner?  We had a great one.  No recipes to share this morning, just a few highlights from what we ate.

This first dish captivated my attention all day long before we sat down to eat.  I saw it sitting and covered, and I couldn’t stop coming back to it, tempted to lift the cling wrap and steal a piece.  I was good though and kept my hands to myself, until dinner.   I ate several helpings of this.  Something so simple – string beans, grape tomatoes and fresh mozarella – but addictive to keep picking at! 

My brother-in-law and his wife brought this dish.  Filet of Sole stuffed with crabmeat.  Another dish I looked at all day and couldn’t wait to try.  And it was worth the wait.  Isn’t anything stuffed with crab worth waiting for?  Don’t have the recipe for this one, but I will.  Soon.  I won’t tell you that I ate two and a half servings of this.   Sorry, but you can’t put something containing crab in front of me and expect me to refrain!

A colorful salad.  I want you to know now I cut each and every olive myself.  Why would I do all that tedious work when they sell sliced olives you ask?  I could say it was because they had none at the store.  But, that would be a lie.  They did have them and I even picked them up and put them in my cart.  Then I went back and put them back on the shelf and picked up the whole olives.  Why?  I don’t know.  I was in a daze, it was Christmas Eve and the store was crowded.  It was one of those shopping experiences where you walk up and down the aisles trying to remember what it was you came to the store for in the first place.  Don’t you love salad?  I could live on it.

One of my most favorite veggies ever; asparagus.  These were roasted, and totally delicious!  I could have eaten half the dish of them myself!

More deliciousness.  Prime rib with a horseradish sauce to go along with it.  Cooked to perfection and super tender.  My brother-in-law was slicing this.  When I came up with the camera to take a picture and told him it was for the blog he immediately said;

“Wait!  Let me get the right fork first.”  Do you think blogging makes people nervous?  Not to worry, Jan.  I’m pretty sure Bon Appetit magazine ain’t reading my blog, so the “Use-of-Proper-Fork-Police” won’t be coming to haul you away.

We had some other dishes as well, but these were some of my favorites.    Too bad I didn’t get a shot of the mashed potatoes we made.   They came out good, but my husband took over making them while I was busy getting ready yesterday morning.  After I finished getting dressed I came out and saw them all made and in the pan and they looked great.  Then I looked a little closer and said; “Where did you get the fresh parsley from?”  I had fresh parsley, but used it up a week ago.  He hadn’t gone to the store, and our garden has long been dead, so I couldn’t figure where he got it from. 

“It was in the fridge in the mason jar,” he responded.

“Ummm…no” I said.  “The mason jar in the fridge has fresh CILANTRO in it.”

“Oh.  Then its fresh cilantro and not parsley.”

That’s when I got nervous.  See my husband can cook.  But sometimes he over seasons, changes a recipe too much, or like he did on Christmas, adds an ingredient that really has no place in the dish.  Let me just say now that Cilantro and mashed potatoes don’t go together.  Cilantro and potatoes in other dishes…sure, they could work.  Mixed with mashed potatoes, not so much.  But it did look pretty.  And luckily, I was able to pick off the Cilantro before it really seeped into those taters.

All in all, dinner was delicious.  The day came and went, my children have more toys right now than Toys R’ Us and my house looks like a bomb went off in it.  I can’t even find the living room floor.  And I have no energy to pick it all up.  I could try making my kids do all the work, but they are ignoring me and are too absorbed in all the loot they gathered yesterday.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Pot Roast

I was undecided what to cook this past weekend.  I’ve been trying to be more organized about planning meals, at the least, a few days ahead of time.  I could be like those organized people who plan a week ahead, but trust me, I’m so far from organized it’s not funny. 

Looking through the sale circulars on Sunday for our local food stores decided it for me.  Pot Roast.  My favorite store had Chuck Roast on sale for $1.49 lb. so there you have it.  Sunday dinner.  Much like meat loaf, there a million and one recipes out there for pot roast.  And I have never followed a recipe for it.  I usually make it somewhat different every few times I make it.  The one thing I don’t change is the cut of meat.  I prefer a Chuck Roast.  To me, it is the ultimate cut of meat for a Pot Roast.  Sometimes I make it in the slow cooker, other times in the oven in my “look-alike-Le Creuset-oval-because I’m not paying $150 for one pot-dutch oven”.  That’s what I chose to use this time around.

First thing I do is salt and pepper the roast generously on both sides.  Then I get my “look-alike-Le Creuset-oval-because I’m not paying $150 for one pot-dutch oven” on the stove and pour in some canola oil.  I let it heat up a bit and then I brown all sides of the roast nicely.  You want it nice and brown so it leaves those delicious crusty brown specs on the bottom of the pot.

Once this is achieved I remove the roast to a plate and pour in beef broth and then use my wire whisk to scrape up all the bits off the bottom of the pan.  I then add in the roast, some carrots and onion, a bay leaf and that’s it. Cover up that puppy and put it in a 275 degree oven for the next several hours.  When it’s done it looks like this:

And this:

At this point, the meat will be so tender you can barely lift it out of the pot without it falling apart.  You won’t need to slice it.  Just get it on a cutting board and begin pulling it apart with two forks. 

At this point you will probably be tempted to start shoving tender morsels of this meat into your mouth as you are breaking it apart.  I was the same way.  Notice the past tense I used.  Past tense because I once worked with someone who told me her mother was stealing pieces of pot roast from the cutting board one day as she was breaking it up to serve for dinner.  All of a sudden this girl saw her mother begin choking and immediately performed the hymelic maneuver on her.  Luckily her mother survived and the tender piece of meat came sailing across the kitchen when it was dislodged from her throat.  Now I have this sick phobia of me choking to death on a piece of tender meat I was quietly trying to shove down my throat, in my kitchen, all alone, and being found dead by one of my children or my husband.  Who would then proceed to step over my immobile body to begin scarfing down their own tender piece of meat before acknowledging the fact that I was lying blue and lifeless on the floor below them. 

Oh. Sorry for the blurriness.  I was being mauled by this while I was taking these photos.

Well, not really “mauled”.  More like being affectionately rubbed against in the hopes that I would notice he was there and waiting for a little morsel of meat to suddenly fall on the floor.  I guess me missed that splotch of gravy on the floor to the left of him.  I never said he was the smartest cat, just the most affectionate.  And, he thinks he is more canine than feline and actually begs for food like a dog.

Just a side note.  See that little bend at the end of his tail.  Know how he got that?  I accidentally rolled over his tail in my wheelchair a few years back when I was healing from a broken leg and the surgery endured to correct it.  I felt terrible, and his tail never returned to normal.  Almost five years later and he still has that little bend to it.  Sorry, Max.  I never meant to maim you with my wheelchair.  I feel terrible about it and you remind me of it every time I look at you.  So of course, I had to drop him a morsel of tender meat to feast on.  He earned it.

Sorry.  I’m easily side tracked.  Back to the pot roast.  I don’t have any specific measurements, but I will do my best to make it look like I do and post the recipe for you. 


  • 3-4 lb. Chuck Roast
  • 32 oz. Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1 Medium onion
  • 4-5 Carrots peeled
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Packet brown gravy mix
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Salt and pepper the roast on both sides.  Pour a few Tbsp. of Canola Oil into a dutch oven on the stove and get it nice and hot.  Place the roast in the pot and brown it nicely on all sides. 

While it’s browning, rough chop the onion and peel and cut up your carrots and place them to the side.

When the roast is nicely browned on all sides, remove it from the pot and place it to the side.  Pour in your beef broth and use a wire whisk to scrape up all those brown bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add the roast, carrots and onions to the beef broth in the pot and make sure it is submerged in the liquid.  Place the cover on it and put it in a 275 degree oven and let cook and become tender and delicious.

This was between 3 and 4 lbs. so I let it cook for a good four hours.  After the first three hours, I shut off the oven and left it in there, still covered, for the last hour. 

Once done, remove the roast carefully to a cutting board and break all the meat apart.  With a slotted spoon remove the carrots and the onion to a bowl.  Now stir in the one packet of brown gravy mix until well combined.  The sauce/gravy will be thin, but this is the way we prefer it.  You can always thicken it with some flour if you like a thicker gravy.

I like to serve this with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.  There you have it. An entire meal cooked in one pot and  you barely had to do anything.  Enjoy!

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