I’ve never been a picky eater. But meatloaf was not one of my favorites, even though the dish has withstood the test of time as a favorite comfort food. Well, what a difference one recipe can make! I went from never giving meatloaf a second thought to maybe thinking about it a little too much. These days I can’t get enough of this special recipe that makes meatloaf so very flavorful and moist. What secrets does this variation hold? There are several. First, the two cups of whole milk that the breadcrumbs happily soak in. That alone gives the meatloaf a rich and ultra moist texture. Second, sautéing the sweet yellow onion adds to the moisture plus gives the loaf a slight natural sweetness. Then the sauce that gets brushed over the top before baking gives this meatloaf a hint of spice, a bit of heat from the dry mustard and sweetness from the brown sugar. All in all, this is a wonderful meal for the family, especially when paired with mashed potatoes, gnocchi, pasta or just some charred crusty French bread. This quote from Bon Appetite magazine summed up meatloaf the best: “Meatloaf in its many iterations and guises was often a sort of culinary scrap heap, a refuge for leftovers, in the spirit of many casseroles and of shepherd’s pie. It was a way to stretch protein. It was a way to use up excess vegetables. It was a ragtag orchestra of ingredients on the verge of expiration. And it made music more uplifting than anyone could have anticipated.” This recipe is definitely music to my ears and a brand new one woman fan favorite!
I have no idea if it’s Kansas City, Carolina, Texas, Memphis or St. Louis style. All I know is that this dry rub is magic dust on a rib. Just in time for your summer menus, this Dry Rubbed BBQ Ribs recipe is the perfect seasoning for a meaty slab of pork or beef ribs, finished off with just a light brushing of barbecue sauce. So let’s tackle cooking first. Slow and low. It’s the only way to keep those juices moistening the meat. For the rub, don’t overpower. Generally, whatever sticks to the slab should give you just the right amount of flavor. And because BBQ sauce is loaded with sugar or honey which can burn, save it for the last 10-15 minutes, and then just lightly coat it on the slab at the end of the cooking process. You want the flavor of the rub to come through. Now for the rub. It’s an incredibly simple formula I found in an old paperback cookbook called Tasty Vittles. This rub is the perfect combination of sweet, spicy, hot and salty. You can add a slightly citrusy kick if you’re using something like a chili lime sea salt, or burn it up big time with various chili powders. I’ve been on a quest for a good basic rub that I can make ahead, keep it in a jar in the pantry, and shake out onto a slab whenever I’m craving ribs, and this is it! Start with the basic rub and then add your own special touches using some of your favorite herbs and spices, a little at a time, until you make it your own. Rub some ribs and reap the rewards this summer!
I appreciate wine so much more after this recipe. Not because there’s wine anywhere in the dish, but because it was the wine that loosened the lips of Mrs. Stebbins that finally got her to give up her secret recipe for the most scrumptious Barbecue Pork ever! I received the recipe and story from Chandler resident Ann Todd and I loved both so much I couldn’t wait to share them with you! “Jan, my mom, Liz Ramsey, makes this recipe for weddings– mine in fact! She also makes it for parties, picnics and other promotions.” Ann told the story of her Mom’s friend, Mrs. Stebbins who would sit in the front of her house cross legged, leaning against the door reading a novel and having a glass of wine in the sunshine. Ann’s Mom had Mrs. Stebbins’ Barbecue Pork at a party and really wanted the recipe. Mrs. Stebbins didn’t want to give it up because she didn’t want the secret out so that she could make it every time she had a party. However one afternoon after one of those reading and sipping in the sunshine sessions, she was a little loose-lipped and let the secret of her great barbecue pork out. She just walked into Liz’s kitchen and said, “Oooooo-kay!” If you’re looking for a delicious and hearty recipe for your Super Bowl spread this year, you’ve got a winner right here. Devour it and raise a glass to Mrs. Stebbins!