Sunday, January 4, 2009

Crockpot BBQ and Easy Smashed Potatoes

I've been shopping at Costco more often, in an attempt to make several portions and thereby keep our food costs down. Neither of us mind leftovers, so that works out well.

A couple of weeks ago I grabbed some boneless beef ribs on sale that looked tasty. I decided to try to make some "Crockpot BBQ" out of them instead of slow-cooking them in the oven.

crockpot bbq and smashed potatoes

I seared the meat in a skillet first on all sides, using a nice hot pan and then I seasoned them at that time, as well (salt, pepper, garlic powder). Then I put them in the slow cooker with what has developed into my bar-b-que sauce recipe (I keep tweaking):

two cups of catsup, or ketchup if ya nasty
one cup of mustard, any kind
two capfuls of liquid smoke
about a quarter to a half cup of molasses
one cup of packed brown sugar
as much Red Hot sauce as you think you’ll like
one dark beer, or a couple of shots bourbon
half a medium onion, diced finely
two cloves diced garlic
a heavy shake of cumin (don't be shy) and a shake of coriander
salt and pepper (plenty of black pepper)
two small cans of tomato paste (this is the new part - my sauce was coming out too runny)

I cooked the beef for about six hours. I had to skim fat (oil) off the top, because the ribs were pretty fatty. However, after that was done the beef didn't have any big pieces of fat on it, because it had all been rendered and skimmed off the top. (Now I dunno if that's for everyone, but I happen to be what the epicurean ladies call a "real man" in my cooking.)

I made smashed 'taters, too. Several years ago I started making these based on something I saw Rachel Ray do with red potatoes. It works with those, but I like the Yukon Gold even better. If you haven't tried those potatoes, you really must. They're buttery, and the skins are light.

I scrub the potatoes (about 6-8 of them), then I dice them and boil them with plenty of salt in the water. I don't peel them (they're better for you this way, anyway), I just remove the bad bits and the "eyes." I drain them, then add one container of cream cheese (believe it or not, the fat-free works fine, too), and enough chicken broth a bit at a time until they are the consistency I want using a hand potato masher. Then I add salt and pepper to taste. Without the peeling and the whipping, making mashed potatoes this way is just as easy as making any other veggie.

I served it with green salad or a green veggie (taking back my "real man" status, perhaps), and DAMN. I have to say I just about sprained a muscle patting myself on the back over this one. Hoo doggie! I think it came to about $1.50 or $2 each serving. Lots of leftovers, too, and the taters just soak up that sauce.


  1. Love love love the Yukon Golds. Two thumbs up!

  2. Mmm, this looks and sounds good. Another thing goes on the list for you to make for me.

  3. Yum, yum. I really need to try your way of making potatoes. Any time I have done the smashed, they don't taste rich enough to me...cream cheese has to be the answer! (It really is a good answer for most anything, isn't it?) And great idea with the ribs too...although I am so lazy when it comes to the slow cooker...I don't like to cook anything at all before I put it in there.

  4. [...] is the same recipe that I printed here for the beef ribs. You can really plunge any meat ya like into this sauce, and it’ll come out [...]