CHEW THIS! Grandma Barbra’s Secret Holiday Recipe

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, November 2nd 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Grandma Barbra’s Secret Holiday Recipe
Blaise Doubman

My Grandma Barbra and I have been super close since I was born. Some of my most precious and earliest memories, are of that of the two of us in the kitchen. We have encountered just about every problem you can think of in the kitchen and somehow worked our way around it. Awhile back, I shared a recipe for apple pie that was made from a disastrous situation! Ha! That pie is still baked and served at family gatherings and is the best anyone has ever had. Grandma has always told me to look for the silver lining in no matter what situation and she shared this with me through examples through food and kitchen work. I will always be grateful for the lessons, both good and bad, that I have learned through her throughout the years. One of the funniest recipe memories is when, years ago, she explained to me that sometimes when people give out recipes, they leave out an ingredient or two, that way your version is never as good as theirs! I never understood that! I told her, if you are going to put your name on something, you would want it to be good, right!? She laughed and said she sure thought so!

Skip ahead to Easter dinner a few years back. My Mom, Darla, and I were going on and on about this slow cooker pulled pork that Grandma had at her buffet. For some reason I thought she had bought it somewhere but no, I was wrong! She explained that it was a slow cooker recipe that she had made up on her own one time by accident, it turned out and so she had made it ever since! I had to have that recipe! She shared it with me, and I made it and it was so delicious for it being so simple! I shared the recipe on my blog and people went wild over it! Well, since sharing it, I have made a few simple changes that make it even more fabulous, if that is possible. For starters, when making this pulled pork, do not marinade the pork any longer than overnight in the refrigerator. Also, less water and a little honey does wonders for the overall flavor and even the texture when shredding the pork! Leftovers can be kept, covered and chilled, in the refrigerator for up to three days. Make this and enjoy!

Grandma Barbra’s Secret Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

My favorite way of enjoying this recipe is by sandwiching the meat between two thick hamburger buns. However, you can also serve the meat by itself and alongside your favorite side dishes or alongside streamed rice.

1 pork roast (between 2-3 pounds)
1 bottle Italian salad dressing
½ cup water
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

In a shallow baking dish combine the pork roast with the bottle of Italian salad dressing. Cover with aluminum foil and place into the refrigerator to chill overnight, but no longer.

When ready to start the cooking process, spray the inside of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. I wouldn’t recommend using a plastic slow cooker liner because later, when shredding the pork, there is a chance of ripping the plastic and having it enter your food.

Place pork roast inside carefully along with water. Drizzle on the honey and sprinkle evenly with the salt and black pepper.

Cover and cook on high for four hours. Turn down and cook on low for four additional hours. At the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and carefully shred the pork with two forks.

Serve on hamburger buns with BBQ sauce and pickles or serve as desired.

Ask and Answer: I have heard from some of you who would like to know the difference between table salt and Kosher salt. I have always used Kosher salt in developing and testing my recipes, both sweet and savory. I find table salt to be more of a “chemical” flavor. When using Kosher salt, it is a “purer” clean salt flavor and since it is made up of bigger flakes, the less salt you use compared to table salt. My favorite brand of Kosher salt is “Diamond Crystal”.

CHEW THIS! Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs

Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, July 20th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs
Blaise Doubman

This column and recipe is dedicated to my brother, Damon! We haven’t, admittingly, always been really close over the years, but within the last few years I think our relationship has changed for the better. I have learned that he is his own person, who can make his own decisions and doesn’t always need me to make those decisions for him. Ha! Sounds like your typical brother relationship. Yes, there was awhile there when I felt the need to try and control and make every decision for him. Hence the relationship strain. But once I realized, and I really always knew, that he was a talented, smart person, I knew he would be OK. He knows that I will always, no matter what, be there for him, no matter what he needs, and that is all that really matters. I can’t even begin to share with you the stories we share and laugh about, growing up together in a small town filled with family. Green rocks from neighbors, video game filled afternoons with Sonya and Katana, pool fights, bike rides, Harriet the Spy, Mario’s hard shelled enemies, moon shoes, bus rides, car rides, hiding in connecting closets, grilled cheese sandwiches, back to school shopping with Grandma and Grandpa and so many more memories that I will cherish forever. Plus, memories and stories, we are still making today. I am lucky to have Damon for my brother and love him very much. Shout out to Damon for putting up with me for so many years! I am sure he deserves some type of award for sure! Ha!

Growing up my brother, Damon, was a very picky eater. Not much has really changed, although his tastes have expanded in certain categories. BBQ ribs for an example. His love for them started with my Dad, Jamie, and my Grandpa Max, ordering them at Grindstone Charlies. Damon’s first bite of BBQ ribs can be described as love at first bite. Ha! He has loved them ever since. I think he was about 8 when this love began and has continued all these years. I can still remember him eating them, making a mess and using those little square wet wipes to clean up. Somewhere there is a picture of this that I need to find! It was the funniest thing. Over the years I have watched him grow and change but his lover for bbq and ribs have never faltered. When developing bbq style recipes he is my “go-to” taste tester and always helps me improve or change the recipe in ways I hadn’t thought of before. Same thing with this recipe I am sharing here with everyone today. It is one of his favorite meals! I highly recommend this recipe! Try it, and as usual, send me a message or email and let me know your thoughts!

Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs

You can substitute the boneless ribs, for bone-in ribs if you desire.

3-4 pounds boneless ribs
2 cups favorite bbq sauce
¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Start by lining your slow cooker with a slow cooker liner.

Place in the boneless ribs.

In a large bowl combine the bbq sauce, lightly packed light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and black pepper. Pour evenly over the ribs and spread evenly.

Place on the lid and cook on low for 8 hours.

Carefully remove the ribs onto a serving platter. Top with additional bbq sauce, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of black pepper before serving. Serve these hot!

Ask and Answer: I have been getting lots of inquiries about my cookbooks. I have decided not to continue with any reprints, meaning what I have in stock now is all I will ever have. This will be your last opportunity to buy my cookbooks directly from me. Supplies are extremely limited. “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” and “Blaise the Baker Celebrates” are $15 each, $12 for the cookbook and $3 shipping and handling. Send payment to Blaise Doubman, Box 47, Kennard, IN 47351. You can use PayPal and Venmo with my email blaisejdx@gmail.com Contact me with questions about my special business bulk deals. This is a first come first serve offer and once supplies are gone, they are gone for good so I encourage you to act fast.

Grandma Barbra’s Slow Cooker Pork Roast

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” May 1st, 2017

This recipe comes straight from my Grandma Barbra. She served this for Easter and everyone went crazy so naturally I had to find out the recipe!

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Grandma Barbra’s Slow Cooker Pork Roast

1 pork roast (between 2-3 pounds)
1 bottle Italian salad dressing
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

In a shallow baking dish combine the pork roast with the bottle of Italian salad dressing. Cover with aluminum foil and place into the refrigerator overnight – or at least 6 hours.

Line your slow cooker with a plastic slow cooker liner, for easier cleanup, or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Place pork roast inside carefully along with water. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Cook on high for 4 hours. Turn down and cook on low for 4 additional hours. At the end of the cooking time, shred the pork with two forks.

Serve on hamburger buns with BBQ sauce and pickles if desired.

Enjoy!