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James Beard's Cole Slaw

This recipe appears in Beard's Treasury of Outdoor Cooking. This is a beautiful, artsy book with wonderful photographs of food art and scenery. The 1960 first edition is recognized by book collectors. This recipe calls for the use of a double boiler to make a roux. Not many references to double boilers these days. But if you have one use it. Otherwise make the roux over low heat. It also calls for eggs. With stick and standing blenders at the ready today, a lumpy roux or a slightly cuddled egg mixture can be corrected without the emotion that attended such problems 50 years ago. This is a good vinegar cole slaw in a thickened tasty base.

See Abbreviations, if needed
• 2 heads white and ½ head purple cabbage, shredded (2 lbs) (See note)
• 4T butter
• 2T AP flour
• ½ C water
• 2 eggs
• 6T sugar
• 1t+ Coleman’s dry mustard
• 1t salt
• 2t white pepper powder
• ½ C white wine vinegar

1. Melt butter in double boiler, add flour and make a white roux
2. Add the water, then stir, cook smooth and remove from heat
3. In a bowl: whisk eggs, sugar, mustard, S/P
4. Pour into the hot roux mixture over this, stir and smooth
5. Empty bowl into the double boiler, stir and cook to thicken
6. At the moment it is thick, remove from heat and add the vinegar
7. Blends smooth with a stick blender
8. Pour cooled dressing over cabbage and toss

Note: Cabbage is cheap. Buy two heads and discard the hard and white centers in favor of the green and more tender leaves. A food processor with a 1 mm blade cuts the cabbage nicely.

Oven Braised Pork Spare Ribs

This is a family recipe, much modified. It originally called for finishing the ribs on the grill while brushing them with sauce. That doesn't work since the ribs are falling-off-the-bone-tender when done and can't be moved from pan to grill without making a wretched mess of it all. Forget the grill. These are braised ribs! Serve a sauce of choice in a heated gravy boat. (Don't be surprised if quite a few diners won't want sauce on their braised ribs.)


Ribs: (allow five ribs per person, that is: 2 racks = 26 ribs= dinner for 5)
Two racks of baby back pork ribs

Dry Rub:
1T salt
2T brown sugar
2t dry mustard
2t thyme
1t ginger, fresh grated
½ t cinnamon, fresh grated
1t cayenne

Pan Braising Mixture:
1 large onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick, broken
1T ginger, freshly grated
2C apple cider or apple juice (enough to cover the pan bottom about ¼ inch deep)

Optional Barbecue Sauce: (If you don't have your own favorite)
½ C brown sugar
1 oz butter, melted
¼ C bourbon
¼ C rice wine or white wine vinegar
2T Dijon mustard

1. Remove silver skin from back of ribs, trim off excess fat and set aside
2. Prepare dry rub by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl
3. Hand rub the meat side with the dry rub, salt and pepper the skin side of the ribs. Cover and chill for an hour or more
4. Spray or rub sheet pan or roasting pan surface with EVOO
5. Place braising pan mixture (less apple cider) in pan
6. Lay ribs in pan meat side up and then add apple cider (see photo)
7. Cover pan with foil and place in preheated 325F oven
8. Braise ribs for about 2 hours covered and another half hour uncovered, until meat is pulling away from the bones (Allow 2½ hours for this)
9. When ready, cut racks with a sharp knife into two or three bone servings
10. Serve the ribs right out of the braising pan along with a little spooned-on braising liquid and braised onions
11. Serve with a sauce of choice, heated


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