Before you remind me of exactly what date it is and how I should have reviewed this BEFORE the holidays, hold up. I have to say Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities by Nigella Lawson has recipes that are not just for the holidays. I have to confess that I was hesitant to pick this up because I thought “Aly, why the heck do you need a cookbook just for Christmas?!?!?” as my cookbook shelf began to scream in horror that it was about to have a new addition. However, in retrospect, I’m glad I picked it up because I have recipes that will take me through the year.
I flipped through it and the pictures are gorgeous. The recipes are somewhat simple for the home cook and, unlike this gal who blew up a food processor making the accompanying spoon bread (more on that later), everything is pretty straight forward. There are tips for entertaining, brunch ideas, great sides, etc. Some of the recipes that I’ve bookmarked for future “investigation” are the Pomegranate Martini, Boston Baked Beans, Butternut Orzotto, Triple Cheese and Onion Strata and, of course, the Espresso Martini. There’s a chapter on various chutneys, vodkas and other giftable items and even a schedule for the holiday day with what to do when. It’s a book that I will refer to time and time again.
The one recipe that I HAD to try was the Bourbon Glazed Ribs. Having never made a rack of ribs before, this was quite the challenge. I will say that unlike my friends, I don’t often drink Bourbon and I knew I’d have to go out and procure a bottle. In the move, the contents of my liquor cabinet (and the Maker’s Mark) was gifted to SL and I’m slowly rebuilding my Philly bar (Didn’t want to be branded “Al[y] Capone”). One problem: there are so many bourbons on the market and which one should a gal buy? After consulting with the Bourbon expert, Rifleman, I was told that “any” bourbon would be fine as he felt that Maker’s Mark might be too pricey. However, in true Nigella form, I thought that it would be a disservice to the recipe to not use Maker’s Mark. Having never bought a rack of ribs before, I bought one which turned out to be rancid within a day (shocked and surprised that Genuardis sold that) but after discussions with another butcher and learning what happens when they shrinkwrap ribs, I bought a different brand and attempted the recipe again.
The bourbon glaze is ADDICTING. Seriously, I’m thinking I might have to make another batch of it just to keep in the fridge to glaze chicken and everything. Nigella is prone to recipes that you can whip up the night before and leave in the fridge and this recipe was no exception. The next day we were treated to some amazing ribs and even though I terrorized my Cuisinart with attempting to make too much spoon bread in an 11 cup bowl when it clearly needed a 14 cup bowl, the dinner was a success. The camera was on life support as it fell in the leftover spoonbread batter while I was trying to clean up the chaos. Will I make this again – sure – but I would definitely cut the spoonbread recipe in half. The ribs – heck that’s a tried & true and I’ll probably make it with the Boston Baked Beans next time. Add this rib recipe to your repertoire – you won’t be sorry.
Bourbon Glazed Ribs
Recipe adapted from Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities
- 24 St. Louis-style pork spareribs
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard (I used dijon)
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- Put the ribs in a resealable plastic bag and add the other ingredients to form a marinade. Place into the refrigerator, putting the bag into a bowl to avoid drips or spillages, and leave overnight.
- The next day, remove the ribs from the refrigerator, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Pick the ribs out of the marinade and put them into a shallow roasting pan (lined with aluminum foil for easier cleanup), then pour the marinade into a saucepan.
- Cook the ribs for 1 hour, turning them over halfway through cooking.
- When the ribs are cooked, bring the marinade to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes or until it is thick and glossy.
- Plate up the ribs than pour the bourbon sauce over them.
(Disclaimer – in my paranoia, I made a separate batch of the marinade and reduced it for the glaze rather than reuse the marinade from the night prior. What can I say – I get nervous with reusing marinades.)
Gathering The Marinade Ingredients
The Final Product – Hungry yet…
And, as promised, the spoonbread evidence…
Part I – it’s in the Cuisinart…
Part II – WHIRRRRRRR, It Mixes…
and – Part III – Spoonbread Batter – EVERYWHERE…
I need the new fancy Cuisinart… (or so I’ll keep saying to justify buying it instead of a new pair of Loubous…)
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