Easy Recipes for Stay-at-Home-Dads: Friday Rib Sauce and Sides

A couple of weeks back I wrote a post about our family’s love for ribs and the near reverence Rib Fridays have here on Chicago’s north shore (Easy Friday Pork Ribs). With spring just beginning to show itself (though, in this neck of the woods, we never rule out snow until sometime after Memorial Day) and the queries I have had about rib sauce, I thought I would finish up the week with a trifecta: a rib sauce recipe as well as oven fries and asparagus rafts.

In keeping with the tone of these posts all three are easy: the sauce and the asparagus are pretty quick to make while the potatoes can go in about an hour before the ribs are done (which, for me, is just about the time I open my second Friday beer). I do the sauce just after I have initially lit the coals (and opened the first beer) while the asparagus can be cooked right after you take the ribs off the grill.

With the sauce, first let me say that some guests (as well as my son) would rather have ribs sans sauce. I tend to alternate between the two camps, though when we have folks over I put out a jar just in case. Additionally, I have been known to give jars of this particular sauce to relatives and friends for the holidays (especially when part-time work has been in short supply). Since the below recipe makes a couple of quarts I usually fill some old spaghetti sauce jars and either store then in the fridge or, as I said, use them as gifts.

Friday Rib Sauce

Ingredients:

4 cups of Heinz ketchup

10 oz. of A1 Steak Sauce

1 ½ cups of apple cider

1/3 cup Worchester Sauce

1/3/ cup dark Karo syrup

1/3 cup honey

¼ cup molasses

2 teaspoons of Liquid Smoke

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Add all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer while stirring.

2. Simmer for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.

3. Pour into glass containers and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Oven Fries

Ingredients:

4 medium potatoes

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ cup melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 450 (we use a convection oven but a regular one works as well, it just takes a bit longer).

2. Wash the potatoes then cut them lengthwise into ½ inch strips.

3. Spread then in a single layer on an ovenproof pan and pour butter over them.

4. Bake for approximately 40 minutes (after turning them several times during the process).

5. Mix the salt and paprika.

6. Dry the finished product on some paper towels.

7. Sprinkle with the salt mixture and serve.

Asparagus Rafts

These have become a bit of a tradition when we grill and look pretty impressive when served.

Ingredients:

4-6 asparagus stalks per person

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Ground black pepper

Wooden toothpicks

1. Wash and cut the end off each stalk.

2. Line four to six stalks in a row and pierce each group with a toothpick through the top and bottom of each (about 1/3 of the way down from each end).

3. Spray each group with the oil then sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

4. Grill each group over direct heat for four minutes on each side.

5. Serve with the toothpicks still in the stalks.

Happy Friday.

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