Slow Cooker Rib Recipe

I bought half a lamb with a buddy. This gave me a entire rack of lamb ribs to cook. I was afraid of ruining them on the grill or the smoker. If you cook ribs too long they become like shoe leather.

Ultimately, I invented my own rib recipe. I’ve done lamb ribs and pork ribs and both worked well. This is not complex, but is very good fall off the bone tender. The recipe is simple.

Ingredients:
Sweet Onion
Minced Garlic
Rosemary (lamb)
Thyme (pork)
Whatever BBQ sauce you like.

Take your slow cooker (crockpot in the USA) and grease it.
Slice your ribs into one or two rib portions from the rack.
Dice enough sweet onions to cover every rib layer.
Dice enough garlic to cover every rib layer
Have enough fresh Rosemary or Thyme to use between each rib layer

Cover the bottom of your slow cooker with a layer of ribs.
Generously cover the layer of ribs with a large portion of diced sweet onion and minced garlic. Heavily sprinkle either fresh rosemary or fresh thyme.
Repeat with next layer of ribs until all are in the slow cooker.
Pour about 8 ounces of BBQ sauce on the top to provide enough liquid for the ribs to stay moist while cooking.

Start your slow cooker on high for 1 hour. Then cook an additional 8 hours on low.

Some Thoughts on Scotch

I started drinking Scotch for my health – really.  I used to drink beer in the evening, but I became diabetic. Scotch has fewer carbs = better for a diabetic. I have Scottish ancestry (Abernethy) though that is largely meaningless since my ancestors came to North America in the 1600s. Still, I retain two important characteristics of the Scotch: I like Scotch and I’m frugal.

Fortunately, I find Scotch blends often are better tasting than single malts. “Scotch Snobs” (and probably those with better palates than I) know that single malts are better than blends. But I like blends and I’m drinking because I want to, not because I have to (I’m retired – I don’t have to drink). Blends are much less expensive than single malts which warms my heart.

What I like and dislike in Scotch
Scotch should not taste sweet. If you want a sweeter taste, drink bourbon.
Scotch should have a smoky or peaty taste to it. When I want something which is not sweet without a peaty taste I drink Irish Whiskey like Jamison’s.
Scotch should not taste like you are sucking on a piece of burnt wood.
Scotch should go down smooth.

Preferences:
Sometimes I want a smokier/more peaty taste. Sometimes I don’t.
Because I sometimes want smoky, I need at least two brands of Scotch in the house.

If you disagree with the above criteria – then take the subsequent recommendations as an “anti-buy” list rather than a recommendation list.

I went on Scotch Quest for about two years. Lynn picked up mini-bottles and I tried many brands on cruises. I’m omitting the brands I drank in Scotland on a brief visit. They were wonderful, I can’t get them in the USA, and thinking about their absence makes me sad.

In sum, these are my taste preferences based on serious, methodical research. I have a Ph.D., so this is “science.” Seriously, this is what I like and dislike. What you like to drink is a matter of personal taste.

 

My Rejected Brands

Scorsby

scorsby

Advantages:  Less expensive than Dewars; Not sweet; Smoky, but not too smoky

Disadvantage: Not smooth, not smooth at all.

I tried a Fifth of Scorsby and it was not smooth. It was barely drinkable. I finished the bottle instead of giving it to a relative who believes that any free liquor is better than any liquor he purchases with his own money. But I did think about gifting it – hard.

Shieldaig

Shieldaig_Highland_Lo_Res

Advantages: Inexpensive; The name is pretty neat; Not sweet; Nice smoky taste

Disadvantages: Too Harsh

This was a Total Wine Manager recommendation in the blended Scotch area. I drank all of this and did not consider giving it to a relative – but it was harsher than I like. If you can tolerate something less smooth than Dewars, or if, God help you, you like a harsher taste – then try Shieldaig.

Highland Park

Highland Park

Advantages: Smooth

Disadvantage: No peaty taste at all.  It was a very smooth, tasteless whiskey.  If I want something like this I’ll drink Irish Whiskey like Jamison.

JW

jw-dants-scotch

Advantages: Cheaper than Dewar’s; Not sweet; Plastic bottle (less likely to break).

Disadvantage: Not smooth enough

I will happily drink JW when it is offered to me. It is a little to harsh for home.  But I’ll happily drink your JW, thank you for it, and have a second while thanking you for being a fine fellow.

Johnny Walker Red

Johnnie-Walker-Red-Label

Advantages: As smoky a taste as I ever care for; Smooth; Not Sweet

Disadvantages:
Expensive compared to some other smoky scotches I prefer.

I kept a fifth of Johnny Walker Red in the liquor cabinet for a decade. Eventually I discovered I did not care for it as much as two other smoky Scotches with a similar price point. I like Johnny Walker Red, will happily drink it (especially if someone else is buying), but no longer buy for home consumption.

 

What I Like & Keep in the Liquor Cabinet

Dewars White Label

dewarswhitelabel

Advantages: Smooth; Lightly smokey/peaty taste; Not sweet
Disadvantages: None. Not expensive, smooth and good.

My everyday, go-to scotch. You can find it everywhere. It is not terribly expensive (you can get a handle for less than $40 including tax in Georgia).

Carlyle

caryle scotch

Advantages: Less expensive than Dewars; Not Sweet; Smooth

Disadvantages: Can be difficult to find in some States.  A little harsher than Dewars.

This was a manager’s recommendation at Total Wine in South Carolina.  It is very inexpensive, very good for the price, and I appreciate the recommendation.

Glenlivet 12 year old Single Malt

glenlivit 12

Advantages: Very smooth, very good. Some peaty taste, but not overwhelming. Disadvantage: More expensive than Dewar’s and Carlyle (my two main drinks). Very nice to have occasionally.

This was a present at my retirement party by Ed Lowenstein.  Thanks Ed!  It is wonderful!  If was a little less expensive I would drink it instead of Carlyle.  I always have this in the cabinet.

Grangestone 12 year single malt.

Grangestone 12 year

Advantage: Smooth; Distinct peaty taste.  Better value than Johnny Walker Red.

Disadvantage: Too peaty for my everyday scotch.  I I keep a bottle of this in the cabinet when I want a peaty scotch.

Battlehill Laphroaig – 10 year

Battlehill Laphroaig 10 year

Advantage: Smooth; Very peaty.

Disadvantage: This is as peaty as I care to drink.

This one is very peaty. This is as peaty as I can stand. It is good, but not something I drink every week or even every month. I keep a bottle in the liquor cabinet – but one lasts me about a year.

Be careful about the Battlehill label. Battlehill is a brand that is common to a number of exporting distillers in Scotland. The second word in the brand name is critical to understanding what you are buying. I did not care for some of the other Battlehill brands – but I do like Laphroaig.

Macallan 12 Year Double-Cask (blue box)

macallan 12 year double cask

Advantage: Extremely Smooth; Very Mild; Very little peaty flavor.

Disadvantage: Expensive; Not peaty enough for my taste.  The only Scotch Lynn drinks.

This scotch is distilled in two different casks – one a traditional oak and the other one that was used to age sherry. This has a different, but very smooth taste than most Scotch. This is a special occasion scotch that individuals who dislike the peaty taste will find to be an excellent drink.  One bottle will last us more than a year since Scotch is not Lynn’s preference.

 

Conclusion

My everyday Scotch is Dewar’s or Carlyle.

If I want something with more of a peaty taste – then it is Grangestone 12 year or if I want something really peaty – Battlehill Laphroaig.

My “special occasion” scotch is Glenlivet 12 year. I keep Macallan 12 year because Lynn likes it.

I buy Dewar’s and Carlyle by the handle. I buy the others by the bottle. I keep all six in my liquor cabinet.

I’m not going to make everyone cry (including me) about the Scotches I had in Scotland last Fall. You cannot get what I drank there imported into the USA. I want to take a Scotch trip (my wife can navigate) sometime before I die. She wants an Irish Whiskey trip – so we can probably trade off on who gets to drink the most.

Grilled Zucchini Recipe

Zucchini is cheap in season and just a couple of plants in your garden may provide a bounty.  This is a recipe Lynn & I came up with that we enjoy.

Your ingredients are fresh zucchini, olive oil and Grill Mates roasted garlic and herb seasoning.  I also highly recommend this seasoning for grilled meats. IMG_9853

Next you slice the zucchini thinly.  Place it on a plate with a single paper towel between the layers.

Zucchini has such a high water content that it should be drained before grilling.  I recommend letting it drain at least 2 hours before grilling.  The zucchini can be sliced up in the morning before you go to work and left out on the counter.    It will not go bad in 8-10 hours, will drain better on the counter than in the fridge, and grills better at room temp.  The heat from the grill will kill anything harmful (assuming that would even happen).

Start your grill.  Put the drained zucchini on a flat baking sheet.  Lightly brush a coating of olive oil on one side of the zucchini.  After a baking sheet’s worth of sliced squash has been oiled, liberally shake on the grill mates seasoning.  By the time you finish your grill should be hot.

I put the zucchini on the grill with the herb side up.  You have to watch this carefully.  Your slices are unlikely to be completely even so grilling time varies.  Turn the zuchinni once and grill the other side.  Then remove.  If you are using a timer, do not set it for more than 2 minutes per side – but given how the slices are probably not of even thickness it is better to watch it.

Remove and eat.  The zucchini reheats in the microwave very well.  I’ll make this and we will sometimes eat on it for the next five days as a side dish.

I’ve served this to numerous guests when hosting poker.  Everyone who likes squash enjoys this recipe.

Grilled Chicken Livers with Lime, Cilantro & Jasmine Rice

This is mostly from the Gas Grill Gourmet cookbook.

You take a pound or more of chicken livers.  Rinse them in water and dry on paper towels.  Then lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

I double or triple skewered the livers on metal skewers.  I strongly prefer metal skewers for liver because the heat transfers to the interior of the liver through the metal skewer.  You do not want under-cooked livers or dry, shoe leather livers.

Turn your grill on preheat (I have three burners).  I preheated it for around 10 minutes and it was about 45 degrees outside.  I turned all of the burners to low and put the skewers on.  I grilled them for approximately 8 minutes, turning once.  I would watch them because over-cooking makes bad liver.

I also cut thick slices from sweet onions and grilled the slices at the same time as the livers.

I made Jasmine rice.  The cooked livers were placed over the rice.  Shredded, fresh cilantro leaves were drizzled over the onions.  I then squeezed  about a third of a lime’s worth of juice over the livers.  I had a Yuengling Black & Tan beer with the meal.

Liver is one of those things people like or dislike.  I’ve met few individuals who were “indifferent” to liver.  This was a pretty light, tasty way to prepare liver.  For the frugal among you, this meal cost perhaps $5.00 with all elements and could easily serve 4.

grilled sweet onions

livers

lemon cillantro jasmine rice