December 27, 2008

Ribs Are the Reason for the Season

Every year at Christmas my family gathers at my Grandparents house in Niagara Falls. There are a lot of us and it’s not unusual for holiday dinners to exceed 40 people. To accommodate the large numbers, we have our own set of restaurant style chaffing dishes and everything is served as a buffet. Christmas day is fairly traditional and you’ll find our plates full of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, veggies, salad, rolls, cranberry sauce and gravy. All of that is well and good but it’s not what I look forward to. In my opinion, the best meal to be had is on Christmas Eve when Sweet and Sour Spareribs are dished up to my heart’s (and stomach’s) content. I know that every year, without fail, when I show up at my grandparent’s house there will be a big pot of ribs waiting for me. If I show up on the 24th, it will be bubbling away on the stove, a big pot of rice next to it. And if I’m late and don’t make it down to the Falls until Christmas Day then the pot of ribs will be chilling in the garage as it’s too big to fit in the fridge. This year I only had 2 days to get my fill of ribs so I had them for dinner Christmas Eve, lunch on Christmas day and then again for dinner that night, (along with turkey, ham and everything else, I was very full afterwards).

The recipe that I’m giving for these ribs is exactly as it is written in my Remember When… cookbook that was put together out of family recipes 17 years ago. The recipe seems like something’s missing, possibly many things. I asked my Aunt about it over the holidays and she claims it’s accurate but I’m not sure that she even refers to it anymore to make the ribs. One of these days I will have to make the ribs for myself to see if it’s possible that they’re really so simple. My only concern is that even if I make them perfectly, they will never be as good as they are when I’m at Grandma’s. Nothing ever compares to Grandma’s.

Sweet & Sour Spareribs

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

2-3 T oil

5 lbs pork side ribs


1-2 eggs, beaten

Cut ribs into pieces. Roll in egg and then flour. Fry in heated pan that is lightly oiled, until golden brown. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and/or onion powder. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan. Add ribs. Let simmer for several hours. Serve on a bed of rice.

These are always nicer the second day after more simmering. You may want to add more sauce, (ketchup, sugar, vinegar).


K and S said...

those look so good and comforting! Happy Holidays to you!

Snooky doodle said...

WOW Niagara Falls . It was one of my dreams to go there and finally two years ago I managed to see this wonderfull view. Glad you had a nice Christmas with your loved ones. The ribs looks o good ! and so easy I ll try them and tell you my review :)

Manggy said...

Merry Christmas and Happy new year Brilynn! Wow, I feel like I'm receiving an heirloom here! Thanks for the great rib recipe! :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

How nice to have such a large family gathering, and to have special dishes you look forward to having every year. Thanks for sharing this tradition, and happy new year!

Ashley said...

These look delicious and pretty easy to make - can't wait to try them! :)