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Grandma Beeskau's Baked Turkey

Photo by wikimedia user TheKohser

Turkey isn't just for the holidays, it's great any time of year. While our Thanksgiving turkey has been deep fried for years (once you try it, you'll never go back), there's always a place for a good baked turkey, particularly if you want to make gravy. This recipe from my grandmother comes out perfect every time, and is what I make when it's my turn to make Thanksgiving dinner.

Preparation

Thaw the turkey 2-3 days in the refrigerator, if frozen.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove neck and giblet bag from turkey cavities (save for gravy.) Wash turkey and pat dry. Rub vegetable oil over the outside of the turkey. Salt and pepper both inside and outside of turkey (plus any optional seasonings, such as Cajun seasoning.) Rub optional butter mixture under skin (pull away from body to get the butter all over the underside.)

Place onion, celery, and carrots into the cavity. Lightly sprinkle outside with flour.

Make a heavy foil tent over the turkey. Bake at 325 degrees for 3-4 hours. Remove foil tent and continue baking 1 1/2 hours to brown, basting occasionally during this last hour and a half.

Remove turkey from oven when thigh temperature reaches 170 degrees. Let sit for 30 minutes, covered in foil, before carving. (Save the pan and juices if you plan to make gravy.)

Ingredients

  • 16-18 lb. organic turkey
  • 1 white onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • 3 carrots, cut into chunks
  • Vegetable oil
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste (other seasonings optional)
  • Butter with sage, thyme, and rosemary (optional)

Sweet Habanero Ribs

Photo by flickr user ctankcycles

The delicious ribs can be made with either pork baby backs, or beef short ribs. Either way, they're delicious.

Preparation

Trim any large chunks of fat off the ribs. Place the ribs in a large pot (6-quart would be best) with enough water to cover the ribs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Slowly simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.

To make the sauce, cook the onion and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in the ketchup, apricot preserves, vinegar, pepper, steak sauce, and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat immediately. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.

Stir together the cumin and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle over both sides of the ribs then rub into surface. (It's helpful to completely dry the ribs first. I often boil the ribs the night before, then put in the refidgerator.)

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling (see your grill owners manual, or do a Google search for "indirect grilling"). Never grill ribs over direct heat. Lightly oil the grill over the drip pan, and place ribs on grill above the drip pan, cooking with medium heat. Cover and grill for 15-20 minutes, or until the ribs are tender. During the final 10 minutes, brush the ribs with the sauce. Cook for 5 minutes, turn, brush the other side, then finish cooking 5 more minutes.

Heat the remaining sauce, and serve along side the ribs.

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. pork baby back or beef short ribs
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. steak sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Winter Hot and Sweet Ribs

Photo by flickr user daydreamer576

These ribs are made in your oven, so no need to wait for nice weather. The sweetness plus just the right amount of spice makes for a perfect combination. While these ribs cook, your house will smell so good you'll be drooling by the time they're ready. The secret ingredient is baby food. Seriously. (Don't knock it 'til you try it.)

Preparation

Brown ribs quickly in hot oil. Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Put ribs in baking dish and cover well in sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Ingredients

  • 4 lb. lean pork ribs
  • 8 oz. strained peaches (baby food)
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp. red pepper

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