Sunday Barbecue

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Sundays are always a bittersweet day. Especially when you get gorgeous Spring days like we did yesterday.  Sundays always mean the weekend is almost over, but sometimes, a Sunday afternoon can feel like it goes on forever. We had our first true day of Spring yesterday, almost 70F outside, crystal clear skies, and our first bbq of the season!

Sundays are a day for family, and since right now our little family is just James and I and Kuda girl, we like to spend Sunday afternoons with our extended “family” – our friends. I am always a social person, but when the weather is nice, I love having people over for bbq and good times. Yesterday, we invited a few of our favorite people in CT and had a great classic backyard barbecue!

I made barbecue ribs, chicken, and sausage, charro beans, a salad, and some grilled peppers. It was so filling, but with two light veggie side options, we didn’t need to feel too guilty.  I also made a really yummy berry cobbler for dessert with vanilla ice cream, but I will share that recipe with you tomorrow. For now, I am just going to share with you my special rib recipe! Don’t forget I am a native Texan, so this is a big deal!!!

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What you need:

  • Two racks of baby back ribs
  • 1 full flavor beer
  • 1/3 cup bbq dry rub (I used Salt Lick, but a homemade recipe is below)
  • 1/3 cup of good bbq sauce

Heat your oven to 200F.

Rub your dry rub all over the ribs and let sit for a few minutes.

Pour beer into the dish holding the ribs and cover with foil.

Cook ribs in the low heat oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Remove ribs from the oven and brush with your bbq sauce.

Finish on a medium high grill for about 4 min per side.  You should get a good char on the outside, and your ribs will fall off of the bone!

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Serve with some extra barbecue sauce on the side, and make sure you get your hands good and dirty!

I used the same rub and bbq sauce on the chicken thighs as well, and just used a simple kielbasa sausage grilled for a little more variety.

Home Made Dry Rub:

  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Mix it all together and rub all over any meat you want to bbq!

Asian Style Beef Short Ribs

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I realized this week that I posted an instagram story about Asian style short ribs in the slow cooker, but didn’t actually share the recipe!  That was silly of me!  As I have already mentioned life at Casa Burke is a little busy at the moment, but all good things.

James was traveling this week so I didn’t cook as much.  I cook for clients and myself, often 2-3 times per day, so when my hubby goes away, I lazily order in food.  Usually Greek or Sushi.

I made these delicious short ribs for us last week on a rainy day. Connecticut is really taking April showers seriously and we have had rain for 5 days out of 7 days of the month so far! Thankfully the temperature is increasing a bit, but the gloomy weather calls for lots of slow cooker type meals.

These ribs literally fell off the bone and were so tender and full of flavor.  The best part about them is that it takes about 15min of prep, and you just leave them in the slow cooker all day!

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 5 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

In a bowl mix together your soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes until a homogenous mixture.

Using a good sized slow cooker, place your short ribs into the pot and pour the liquid over.  If the ribs are too long, feel free to cut them up a bit to fit into the pot.

Cover and cook on low heat 7-8 hours or high heat 3-4 hours.  I recommend using low heat as the short ribs come out even more tender.

After the 7-8 hours, mix together 2 tbsp of corn starch and 1/4 cup of water, and then add the mixture to the crockpot.

Stir in the corn starch, and cook for a further 30min on high or until the sauce has thickened.

Serve with veggies or rice or quinoa and enjoy!




Braised Short Ribs


Braised short ribs are a phenomenal winter dish. They are so flavorful and tender when done right, and are so warm and hearty.  It is the perfect dish for those really cold winter nights when you need warming from the inside.  I served these short ribs with a goats cheese polenta, that we couldn’t get enough of!

As I mentioned yesterday, the temperature has really dropped, so you might be seeing a lot of these types of warm, hearty dishes. It is fire building weather and stew weather, and I vow to make an attempt at beef bourguignon this season!

We had some left over onions, carrots, and chicken broth from Thanksgiving so this recipe is a great way to get though them also!


What you need:

  • 8 whole beef short ribs
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 6 pieces of pancetta diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 cups of red wine
  • 2 cups of beef or chicken broth (whatever you have is fine)
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Season your short ribs in salt and pepper and them dredge them in flour.

Using a large dutch oven or other oven safe pot cook your pancetta until browned over medium high heat.  Once cooked, remove the pancetta pieces, but leave the grease in the pan.

Depending on the amount of grease, you may or may not need to add some olive oil, but I didn’t. Add in your short ribs and brown them on all sides. Be careful for oil splatter, your hands will thank you for it! (learned the hard way obviously)

Once browned, remove the ribs and lower heat to medium. Add in your onion, carrots, and shallots and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in your red wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan.

Once boiling, cook for 2 minutes and add in the broth and a tsp of salt and plenty of pepper. Add your ribs to the mixture and check they are almost completely submerged in liquid. Add in the pancetta, rosemary, and thyme whole and place the lid on top.

Cook in the oven for 2 hours at 350F and then lower to 325F and cook for a further 30min.

Remove from the oven and let sit for about 20 min.

Skim the fat off the top of the liquid and serve over potatoes or polenta spooning some of the sauce over it.  (Polenta recipe coming tomorrow)

Make sure you have some wine left over to enjoy with this dish.  It’s the perfect pairing!

p.s. This is a great dish to make a day or two in advance also.  You can scrape the fat off once its cold, and the short ribs are so delicious and tender a couple days later!

Traditional Potato Salad


Potato salad is kind of a Southern staple at any barbecue, and there are probably a million ways to make it.  This version is definitely more on the traditional side, but another day I will show you another version I make without mayo.

Potato salad is a great side to make for a lot of different things.  It’s perfect for potlucks, picnics, and week night dinners.  It does not need to be heavy, and if you want to sneak in some chopped spinach, kale, or chard, it’s a great way to sneak in those veggies your kids think they don’t like!

We had this version the night I made bbq kale, and it was a great pairing. I am not the biggest fan of celery, so I left this out, but if you love it, go ahead and add it in!


You will need:

  • 1 lb mini yellow potatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • paprika to sprinkle over

Wash your potatoes carefully before cutting them up.  Put them in a large pot of warm, salted water and bring to a boil until done and you can stick with a fork easily.

While the potatoes boil, mix your mayo, vinegar, mustard, garlic, chives, salt and pepper in another bowl. If you find this a little bit sharp, add some honey or agave to cut the acidity from the vinegar and mustard.

Drain the potatoes and put them into a large bowl.

Add the mayo mixture to the bowl and toss thoroughly to coat.

Sprinkle with paprika and enjoy!

If you are adding any veggies to this just add them in with the mayo mixture before you toss together.

BBQ Style Kalbi


Kalbi is a thin cut short rib.  This cut of meat is beyond tender and flavorful, and its perfect for a variety of flavors and marinades. This cut is most often used in Korean BBQ, but being the Texas girl that I am, I made them in a traditional BBQ fashion.

Aside from loving me, I truly think James married me for the food. I think it is possible the love stemmed from several food coma’s that came as a result of meals we shared. He has been my culinary guinea pig for the better part of a decade now, and I am so grateful he is so open to trying new things.

Our local butcher had these kalbi cuts, and when they told me they were thin cut short ribs, I was convinced! To get truly delicious short ribs, you have to slow cook them in lots of yummy sauce and seasoning, and it can take a long time! They are a great winter crockpot dish, but before I break that baby out, I wanted to try these.


  • 1 1/2 lbs Kalbi or thin cut short ribs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

In Texas, we believe in the dry rub. So mix your spices together and rub them all over your ribs.

Let them sit in the fridge for about an hour before you cook them to absorb the flavor a bit.


Cook them on medium-high on your grill or inside on a grill pan for about 5-7min total. You want to get a good sear on each side, but not over cook them.  These are very thin cuts so they don’t require too long on the grill.

As you flip them, rub some of your favorite bbq sauce on them.

Remove from the grill, and serve with bbq sauce and any side you like! We did it with some baked beans and potato salad just like you might get at a bbq joint in Texas.  I may have been feeling a little nostalgic and home sick with the cooler weather rolling in…

Enjoy these any way you like, but just for the fun of it, maybe play a little George Strait in the background.

Y’all come back now!