Showing posts with label BBQ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BBQ. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Use Coffee to make Plump and Juicy Barbecued Ribs by Cleo Coyle

My husband and I call these "coffee ribs" for two reasons...

The first is that we use brewed coffee to add earthy flavor and moistness to the ribs before cooking. Whether you make your ribs on the grill or in the oven, that extra moistness from the java will help prevent your ribs from drying out and give you plump and juicy results.

The second reason we call these "coffee" ribs is because we like to use barbecue sauces that include coffee in their ingredients. 

In this case, the BBQ sauce came from the famous Kansas City Roasterie, a fantastic place to buy delicious premium coffee...and coffee barbecue sauce. 

Actually, you can use (practically) any BBQ sauce with this method, whether it has coffee in it or not. The recipe below includes a note on how to choose one...

Now let's get our ribs on!

~ Cleo

P.S. Sending a warm thank you to Coffeehouse Mystery reader Stephanie Jones for introducing us to this delicious coffee BBQ sauce.

Cleo Coyle's Coffee Ribs

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime writing—her husband. 
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.
So...what’s the secret to preparing moist, tender barbecued ribs? It’s all about the moisture, the salt, and the sugar.

SALT is a flavor enhancer that breaks down the connective tissues, making meat tender.

SUGAR tenderizes meat, too, but tends to stick to the surface, which helps to evenly brown without drying. Most barbecue sauces contain sugar, so if you add a little to the marinade it works in tandem with the salt to make your ribs the best they can be.

Okay, Cleo...why coffee? Is it a gimmick? 

It is not. Coffee is an excellent way to add moisture and a tenderizing agent at the same time. Most marinades contain some sort of acid—vinegar, lemon or other fruit juice, even alcohol. But too much acid makes meat mushy. Coffee contains just enough acidity to help the tenderizing process, but not enough to ruin the meat’s texture.

With all that in mind, here’s a quick, one bowl marinade that lets you use your favorite barbecue sauce plus salt and cold coffee to make plump and juicy pork ribs every time. ~ Cleo

To download this recipe in a
free PDF that you can 
print, save, or share, click here.

Click for free recipe PDF.

Cleo Coyle's Coffee Ribs


2-4 pounds baby back ribs

2-3 teaspoons sea salt or Kosher salt
      (or 1-2 tsps. table salt) -- Divided

1 teaspoon white pepper - Divided

2-3 cup brewed coffee, cooled

1-1/4 cups barbeque sauce with one or more
          of these key ingredients
(*see below)

*Key Ingredients: Your barbeque sauce should contain at least one of the following sweeteners: white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, or corn syrup.


(1) Right out of the refrigerator, the cold ribs should be placed into a large bowl and sprinkled with half your salt and pepper on all sides. Separate ¼ cup of your BBQ sauce and rub all over the ribs. 

(2) Add the cold coffee to the bowl, cover with cling wrap and marinate at room temperature for one hour. At the thirty minute mark, flip the ribs to coat evenly.

NOTE: Do not marinate for longer than 1 hour.

(3) Low and slow cooking is the way to make juicy, delicious ribs. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat your grilling rack with nonstick cooking spray. Remove ribs from marinade, and discard the liquid. Do not rinse the ribs. Using the other half of your salt and pepper, once again apply to both sides. Now place ribs on the grilling rack, fat side up. Cook for 20 minutes and flip. Cook for 20 more minutes. 

At the 40 minute mark, you are ready to brush the ribs with barbecue sauce. Flip the ribs over (fat side up again) and coat with the sauce. 

Cook for a third 20 minute period. Flip the ribs, paint the other side and continue cooking, for a fourth twenty minute interval. Flip one more time and apply the rest of your barbecue sauce. 

Kick up the oven to 375 degrees F. and cook 10 to 20 minutes more, to caramelize the surface.

Remove from rack, and...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

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Our newest mystery is now

a bestselling hardcover!

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N

A Mystery Guild Selection
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Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

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The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
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Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


(with mini plot summaries)

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Marc and I also write
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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Super Bowl Recipe for a Crowd!

Pulled Pork for Super Bowl Sunday!

Having a crowd for a Super Bowl Party tomorrow?  This is a recipe for you!  Cook in the slow cooker during the day, and it's ready for kick-off when the party starts.  Serve with a big bowl of cole slaw and whatever else you like.

No, this is not a pulled pork that you smoke lovingly over a charcoal fire stoked with mesquite, applewood or other fancy wood chips.  But it's easy to pull together, and it cooks while you do other things.  What makes it special is the BBQ sauce.  The recipe for my favorite--from an old James Beard cookbook--follows.

Pulled Pork

1 piece of pork loin or pork shoulder/butt--whatever will fit in your slow cooker and will serve the crowd you're having
1 bottle root beer (diet works, too)
1 large onion, sliced
Hamburger buns, toasted
BBQ sauce (recipe follows)

Place pork in slow cooker along with onion.  Add root beer to almost cover.  

Cook on low for approximately 8 hours.

Remove pork from slow cooker.  Remove fat (it should separate from the meat easily), and shred using two forks.

Drain liquid from slow cooker (reserve in case it's needed).  Return pork to slow cooker with onions and enough BBQ sauce (recipe follows) to coat.  (If the mixture is too thick, you can add some of the reserved liquid.)

Barbecue Sauce

2 medium onions, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup of tomato puree
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup red wine

Saute chopped onions in olive oil until soft.  Add all the rest of the ingredients, except wine, and simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Add wine and simmer for five minutes.

Serve pulled pork over toasted buns with extra BBQ sauce on the side.  

Hope your team wins!  

Note:  This BBQ sauce is not as thick as the bottled stuff.  You can also use a bottle of your favorite sauce, but this sauce is easy and really makes the pulled pork special!

Drop by my web site or visit me on Facebook or at Twitter @pegcochran

Coming March 4!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Barbecue "Ribs"

Fake ribs and slaw on a sammie, with corn on the cob.
Perfect summer fare!
Today I bring you another installment in the saga of this 20-year vegetarian's love of good ol' meat:  barbecue ribz.  (The "z" means they're not real!)

You can buy frozen fake barbecue ribs, and they're pretty tasty, frankly.  But they're expensive, and I'm cheap.  This version is less expensive (assuming these are the sort of ingredients you keep in your pantry).  They're also surprisingly easy.  Note that there are lots of similar recipes on the net.  This just happens to be the one I've tried and the one I can vouch for.  But don't be bashful about trying something similar with different spices or a slightly different protein profile.

You can grill the finished product on an actual charcoal grill, but I'm happy to broil them to get that caramel crisp on the sauce.  The ribz themselves can be eaten alone, but I like them on a sandwich with a simple coleslaw garnish.  Voila, some down home bbq sammies.

Susan V's Barbecued Seitan Ribz 
(originally posted at Everyday Dish)

1 c. wheat gluten
2 tsp. smoked paprika (I have sometimes subbed 2 tsp. of Penzey's Galena St. Rub, so you could probably try any BBQ rub blend that has paprika in it)
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese)
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 c. water
2 Tbs. nut butter (tahini, peanut butter, etc.)
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 c. bottled barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 8x8 inch pan with nonstick spray.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk all the wet ingredients (except the bbq sauce) in a separate bowl, then add to the dry ingredients.  Mix and knead for about 2 minutes.

Place dough in pan and flatten.  Score into 8 strips, then cut those in half to make 16 rectangles.  Bake 25 minutes.  Turn broiler on to high.

Remove from oven and cut again.  Use a spatula to lift the pieces out, and place on a broiler rack lined with foil.  Brush with half the sauce, broil for 3 minutes, flip, brush with remaining sauce, and broil again.  (Keep an eye on the broiler so you don't burn these ... you can also grill them on an outdoor grill or a George Foreman type thingie.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mysteries of Pittsburgh: How to Make a BBQ Chipped Ham Sandwich by Cleo Coyle

Pssst... Want to play confuse the deli guy? Okay, here's what you do. Walk up to your grocery store’s cold-cuts counter and ask for a pound of Chipped Ham. Unless a member of the deli’s staff is from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, chances are he won’t have a clue what you’re talking about. 

Chipped Chopped Ham is unique to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as my husband and I discovered after moving to New York City decades ago--and watching deli guys blink in total confusion whenever we tried to order a sandwich with it.

The whole thing began with a chain of regional stores called Isaly's, a name you might recognize as the original producer of the famous Klondike ice cream bar. 

Little known fact:
The Islay's website actually brags...

"Boston has its Baked Beans. Philly has its Cheesesteaks. Pittsburgh, Ohio, West Virginia and surrounds? We have Isaly’s Original Chipped Chopped Ham."

With retro food as popular as ever, I thought it might be time to take a chance and decode the mystery of chipped ham for a wider foodie public. And so...

For this post, I am going to show you how to create that special sandwich from "someplace special" (what we Pittsburghers call our Three Rivers city). 

The BBQ Chipped Ham Sandwich was one of the most popular lunches served in Pittsburgh's school cafeterias when my husband and I were growing up. It was the retro sandwich of our youth. It was also delicious, easy, and cheap. In fact, cheap is the point!

The "chipping" of deli ham is a great way to make a less expensive brand of ham more tasty. There’s a good reason why it does, too, just keep reading... 

Cleo Coyle, cheap eats 
enthusiast, is author of 
Cleo Coyle's
BBQ Chipped Ham

Makes 4 Sandwiches


1 pound of "Chipped Ham"
(Below, you'll learn how to order this at any deli.)

½ cup (8 tablespoons) ketchup

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) BBQ sauce

4 soft hamburger buns

(optional garnish) Relish, sweet or dill


Step 1: Order the Ham - Although the original "chip chopped" ham was made with pressed ham, you can order up any ham at your deli for this sandwich. Note: Even if you usually order the more expensive black forest or baked Virginia ham, don't be afraid to try the less expensive or "on sale" hams for this sandwich. Here's how to do it...

Simply tell your deli person to shave the ham razor thin. Tell him (or her) not to be afraid to allow the ham to break up into pieces. The deli person is actually "chipping" the meat against the commercial meat slicer blade. Here’s what it should look like...

By shaving (chipping) the meat very thin, the ham is more tender and has more flavor than if it were sliced more thickly. In Western PA, Northern West Virginia, and Eastern Ohio (aka the Ohio Valley), this slicing process is known as "Pittsburgh Style."

Step 2: Make the Frizzle Fry - When you get the chipped ham home, you’re ready to create your “frizzle fry” sandwich. (Okay, from here on, it's stupidly easy. But if you never made a hot dog before, I suppose you'd need directions, right? So here goes...)

A. Heat the Chipped Ham: Place a large skillet over medium heat. Break the ham up into the pan and stir until heated through.

B. Make your Quickie Sauce: Mix the ketchup and (your favorite) BBQ sauce in a small bowl and add to the skillet. (Some people add a little mustard at this stage. We don't, but it's an option, depending on your taste.)

Quick tip: The new "Simply Heinz" ketchup is quite good. I just discovered it, and I'm hooked. No corn syrup. Huzzah! You can really taste the difference. I also like Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, but you can use any BBQ sauce for this recipe.

C. Combine Ham and Sauce: Stir and cook for a few more minutes. The chipped ham should be evenly coated with the ketchup-BBQ sauce. The ham should be steaming and sticky.

D. Pile it high: Divide the ham up onto the four hamburger buns.

Garnish: My husband eats this simple sandwich with no other garnish. Many people in Pittsburgh, however, enjoy adding sweet relish. I really enjoy it with relish—but I prefer dill relish. So add what you like and…

Eat with  joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
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The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
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of the 16 titles includes the added
bonus of recipes. 



To download mini summaries
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This culinary mystery includes
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Join amateur sleuth Clare Cosi
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 clicking here.

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The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!

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Book #1 of
which Cleo write under the name 
Alice Kimberly

Haunted Bookshop 

Get a free title checklist, with 
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Or learn more about the books
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