Perfect BBQ’d Ribs

In my no mess tradition this is the best ever recipe for BBQ’d ribs which aren’t BBQ’d at all. They take 5 minutes to prepare and a hour or more to cook. You need a rack of ribs, a whole onion, ample fresh garlic, BBQ sauce and/or whatever condiments or flavors you like to add such as spicy peppers mustard etc.  Peel chop and add the onion and garlic to butter in a large cooking pot. Separate and add the ribs. Saute until the onion is soft. While they saute salt and pepper the ribs liberally, add a 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce, soy sauce or what-have-you. Brown sugar or maple syrup really make em great for me. Cover the ribs liberally with water, cover the pot and boil, the longer the better, at least an hour or until the water is nearly boiled away and *. Keep an eye on the pot because at the critical moment, when the sauce has a glue-like consistency and hasn’t burned to the pot, remove from the heat. Holding the cover down shake the pot, or stir if you are more inclined. Let the covered pot sit and cool giving a shake or two. Serve. You will agree that these are the best ribs ever.

* I like to add whole spuds and or carrots to the pot at this point removing them when they are boiled. They go beautiful with the perfect ribs.


As I say, I’ve been hungry all my life. Nothing allows one to enjoy food more than being really hungry. I recall many meals as fond memories and moments. Like the time I, a New Englander, found myself in cow country. I shared a bunkhouse with two home-boys from Jersey.  We had a neighbor down the road named Roy, and his sidekick Barney. Roy was an old cowboy who had a pinched nerve in his neck that made any movement so intensely painful that he stayed  motionless 90% of the time and had to move his entire body to move his head. Old Roy was a character. He would drink a warm case of Budweiser beer a night. Every night. He sat at his kitchen table the whole time. He kept a BB rifle on the table next to him. He would pop a beer, turn off the light and sit in the dark listening to Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash until the beer was finished. Then he’d pick up the BB gun and put the light on. The walls, everything, would be covered with cockroaches and he’d open fire. These were monsters. In a moment they were gone. Pop a beer. Out goes the light. Merle’s wailing away….. Roy had another daily habit……Please visit my music store @ Every afternoon he would order Barney to go to the meat locker and buy a large steak, three pounds or whatever; huge. The few times I saw him get out of his chair and actually do anything was to BBQ this amazing delicious steak. He had a secret hot spicy BBQ sauce he made himself. I never saw him eat anything but this steak. No spuds. No salad. Just beef. I probably shared that steak about a dozen times. What was striking is how tender it was, whatever the cut of meat. I mentioned this and Roy showed me his 24hr marinade process (which took place inside the fridge thank gawd!). It turned out he cooked yesterday’s steak today and today’s tomorrow. I asked him his secret and he said go out to that bush in the front yard and pick a berry. I did. He handed me a beer and said try the berry. I should have known. My taste buds didn’t recover for two days. I’ve had a lot of back-yard steak dinners since but none quite like Roy’s BBQ and cockroach shoot.


For a perfect, no-mess, smooth, creamy, lumpless gravy, sauce or soup every time you need one thing…..#1 A salt-shaker full of flour..not salt……. And be very cautious about the heat. Take mushroom sauce/gravy for example. You have cooked your ingredients. Add liquid. Now it is a thin soup. Let the liquid reduce until the ingredients are poking through the surface but still covered by water. Sprinkle a light layer of flour over the surface from your shaker. Do not touch. Let  simmer for 15 seconds. Stir for a moment. Repeat this process until you have a too-thick sauce. Add liquid thinning to your taste. The sauce is always in perfect proportion to your ingredients. You can use this trick for stews and soups, cheese sauce, fondue, pasta sauce, gravy. For thickening large pots of soup or sauce remove 1/2 cup of hot soup and mix with flour until smooth paste. Stir into near boiling pot. Repeat as necessary. Velvety smooth and creamy as you could wish for. Be cautious do not allow the mixture to burn or boil hard and don’t use too much flour or it will taste like it. Put the flour shaker back on the shelf for next time.



In an earlier time I had a friend name Choppa, who was a wood-chopper, a logger. He was a pretty rough hard-working-drinking character who basically lived right out in the woods with the trees he cut down, always covered with sawdust and the scent of pine pitch. One winter night I visited the cabin of a mutual friend (Choppa didn’t live anywhere near as I can tell), and there he was cooking up a fantastic meal which I was invited to share. You never woulda thunk it…. “Where in hell did you learn to cook like that?” I asked him. “I’ve been hungry all my life.” he said, sluggin down another beer. That explains exactly what cooking means to me.


Here’s my recipe for beef stew. My recipes do not call for measuring portions, figure a large potato per person in this case etc. This recipe feeds four people or one wood-chopper:

Potatoes… Carrots… A huge onion…. Any other vegetable herbs spices you love or what-have-you. I try to include …mushrooms and garlic. A little…cooking oil…butter…flour…salt & pepper…Two pounds of meat of your choice. Chicken or pork take 30 minutes. Beef can take 1 hour……..One large paper bag!

#1 In the paper bag put a good handful of flour + liberal salt & pepper. If you like your meat hot and spicy add some  powdered chilli to the bag….if you are crazy add some Texas Gunpowder. #2. Slice your meat into bite-sized cubes on the store package….#3. Cover the bottom of a large cooking pot with oil and butter….. #4. Add the meat to the bag, close tightly and shake. #5. Add coated meat to the pan and brown thoroughly on all sides….. …#6.Cover with ample water and boil. Stir occasionally and add water lest the soup thickens before the meat is tender….. #7. Meanwhile, flatten the bag. Peel, cube and process the veggies on it. Add the veggies to the pot, carrots first, potatoes next etc……#8… Simmer on a medium heat, occasionally stirring, until the meat is tender; add salt-pepper-spices to taste.  Allow this to cook down until it is a thick and creamy gravy. A big dollop of butter added is a real treat….Done!……..

#9. Roll up the vegetable refuse in the paper bag and throw away. No mess!! Nothing to wash except for the knife.

#10. It is best to let this stew cool, and reheat to piping hot just before serving with a decent bread.

This stew is even better the next day or freezes and keeps perfectly.




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