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Smoked Spare Ribs


Mmmmm, ribs (Homer Simpson voice).  It’s cold outside and to me there is nothing better than smoked ribs.  I found a good deal on spare ribs and decided to give them a nice smoke.  It’s an easy recipe, thought I’d share.

Trim the silverskin off the bottom of the ribs to ensure you will have the most tender ribs possible.  While doing this heat your smoker to 225F.

Next, rub the ribs with mustard and apply a dry rub.  I like to use a mix of sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne, and a few other secrets.

Pop those ribs in the smoker and let them go till the internal temp is around 170F.  That should be around 5-6 hours.  I smoke them bone side up and used pecan wood.

Consume, enjoy.

Castello del Terriccio Capannina 2010



















Another great bottle we got from Cellar Rat in KCMO.  This is a great balanced Tuscan that would pair well with any Italian meal.  Just make sure you give it ample time to open up so you can get the full bang of this awesome vino.

The blend is Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  Seriously, that combo of grapes alone should have you running out your door right now to get a bottle! Consider this an introduction to Tuscan wine, if you like this then there are so many others you would love as well.  It has great acidity and a great velvety finish.

You know you want it, so go get it!  Consume, enjoy.



I Balzini Red Label Super Tuscan Toscana IGT Rosso 2008


















I love Super Tuscan varietals, that is a given.  They are usually bold and have a great finish, which any wine lover can appreciate.  Now don’t make the mistake of popping this bottle and drinking it right away, you won’t get the full experience.  Would you go to a nice restaurant and rush through your meal?  No, you would take your time, enjoy the experience and get all your moneys worth.  The same goes for this wine, make sure you decant it and if you don’t own a decanter plan to open this two hours before you intend on drinking it.

A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this wine gives off hints of raspberry, cherry and oak.  When we popped this bottle we had a nice rich red sauce over pasta with slow roasted pork.  It’s more medium bodied than full, but still a great buy if you can find it.  I paid around $20 for this Tuscan import.

Consume, enjoy.

Braised Short Ribs



















It’s cold outside here in Kansas City and to me there is nothing better than short ribs on a cool, crisp evening.  I threw this together one night and it turned out pretty damn good so I thought I’d share.  This serving is for two so if you have more just adjust accordingly.

  • 3 bone-in short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • EVOO
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups full bodied red wine
  • 1 cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
  • 1 bay leaf

Season each short rib with salt.  Put your EVOO in a large pot and bring to a high heat.  Add the short ribs and let them brown, around two minutes per side.

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Pull out your trusty food processor and puree all the veggies and garlic until they are basically a paste.  Take your short ribs off of the pan and drain the fat.  Add more EVOO to the pan and add the veggies you just pureed.  Season the veggies w/ salt and pepper and brown them, around five minutes.  Scrape the pan and add your tomato paste, brown again for four minutes.  Add your vino and scrape the bottom of the pan again, reduce by half.

Pop the short ribs in the pan and add the cup of water, make sure the combined mix just about covers the short ribs.  Add the thyme and bay leaf.  Cover and place in the oven for three hours.  Keep checking while they’re cooking to see if more water needs to be added.  Turn the ribs over halfway after an hour and a half.  Take off the lid during the last 20 minutes so the sauce will reduce.

Cook some egg noodles or make mashed potatoes and serve these over them along with the tomato/veggie/wine mix you cooked them in as a sauce.

Of course, I’d recommend a good bottle of red w/ this.  It’s definitely a sexy time recipe and a keeper for sure. After you try this if you didn’t previously like short ribs you’re going to love them.  The End.

Consume, enjoy.

Thanksgiving Wine Choices

What pairs well with turkey?  Well, let me offer a few suggestions.  I’m a red person myself, but I know people like white as well with their bird.  Most of these are readily available at places like MDL, Lukas and Cellar Rat.  Or, they should be since that’s where I go most often.

Get your sip on and enjoy your holiday!
2009 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel

2009 Forth Syrah

Revelry “The Reveler” Red Blend

Copain “Tous Ensemble” Syrah

Bodegas Ontanon “Vetiver”

Chateau Peche Latt

If you can’t find any of the above here are a few more tips:

Buy a few Cotes-du-Rhone, these reds will pair very well with your turkey day.

Red Zinfandel is a great choice for a spicy red.  I like Seghesio (Sonoma) and Ridge (Sonoma).

Sauvignon Blanc is a great balanced white.  If you haven’t already, look into some from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.  Kim Crawford and Nobilo make very good affordable wines.

More to note that pair well: Pinor Noir, Beaujolais and Chardonnay.

Domaine De Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem M. Chapoutier 2009


Recently we had the pleasure of going to a wine tasting at one of our favorite KC restaurants, Osteria Il Centro.  This tasting is invite only and happens once a year.  The advantage to this is there are dozens of wines to taste from several vendors, even better is they have them for sale at around cost. What do I say to this? F-yeah, f-yeah!

The star of the show for me was the Bila-Haut.  The first thing I noticed was the Braille label, how cool is that?  Even the blind need the ability to read varietal and vintage and Chapoutier took this into consideration.  This is a great blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah and packs a punch and a smooth one at that.  Lots of dark fruit, a bit of smoke and rosemary combine in this mouth watering vino.  Definitely a wine that can pair with either surf or turf.  Fire up the grill, get that nice KC Strip on there and maybe grill a few shrimp as well and enjoy this French bad boy.

Braised Brisket

Who doesn’t like brisket when you’re from Kansas City?  I get it if you’re a vegetarian or just don’t like beef.  But, I don’t know how you can say no to slow cooked meat.  So, here is an easy way to impress your friends for these upcoming fall nights.

If you’re serving around 6-8 people, get a five pound brisket.  Grab a dutch oven or a large cast iron pot and add 1/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil and put it on high heat on the stove.  Trim the fat off of the brisket and then add to the pot and sear till you have a good brown crust on both sides.

Chop one white onion, two ribs of celery, three carrots and also five cloves of garlic.  Once the brisket is done searing, remove it and add the chopped ingredients listed above to the pot.  Cook until the onion is translucent.  Add the brisket back to the pot and also add in one 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes w/ the juice, two bay leaves, 1 tsp of thyme, 1 tsp of whole peppercorns and five cups of beef stock.  Cover and cook in the oven at 300 for four-five hours.

At around four hours check to see if it’s ready, it should be.  Grab a ladle and remove two scoops of the reserved juice.  Add to a pan with two tbsp butter, two tbsp flour and 1/4 cup of red wine.  Whisk and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

The prep time on this is about 30 minutes, so if you can get it all in the oven by 2:30, you’ll be good to go for dinner.  Add a bit of chili sauce to the pot before it goes in the oven if you want to add a little kick.

Consume, enjoy!


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