Tender Belly Berkshire Dry-Rub BBQ Spare Ribs

We went through St. Louis at Christmas time.  Just to make sure these were the best ribs, we stopped at several St. Louis BBQ joints and I can proclaim these ribs are still the best.  And you don’t need to set up an all day smoker box, nor a hillbilly hot tub (but a hilly billy hot tub helps to hold the beer once you have soaked and drained it), to make them at home.  You can make these ribs completely in the oven!  I know, heresy in many places, but true.

We have tried a bunch of rib recipes including the famous Willingham’s World Championship Ribs and making my own BBQ sauce, but I keep coming back to this favorite recipe, which comes from my Uncle Tom.  The recipe and technique are simple and still tastes best for all the homemade ribs that we have found.  But we were given some Tender Belly Berkshire pork ribs which make this recipe complete, as it can now be proclaimed the best!

In a cooking bag add:

a rack of Tender Belly Berkshire pork ribs
12 oz. of Coca-Cola
1 T. vinegar

Marinate all ingredients overnight with meat side down (the ribs curving upwards) in a Reynolds oven bag.

Take out of bag and season with salt, pepper, and 1/4 c. of Emeril’s Bayou Blast (see my spices and seasonings page for the recipe).

Heat a grill to hot and put on the grill for a total of 6-8 minutes turning once.  Then 335°F in the oven for two hours to two and one-half hours on a foil lined baking sheet, covered with another sheet of foil.  Remove the top sheet of foil for the last 10 minutes 20 minutes.

By |March 24th, 2013|Cuisine, Recipes|Comments Off on Tender Belly Berkshire Dry-Rub BBQ Spare Ribs

Tender Belly Berkshire Pork Bangers and Mash

Our friend and new-found pork purveyor, Steven Wiskow, gave us some Tender Belly Franks to try out here at the château.  I’ll be honest, as always here at the Sporting Road, as we aren’t selling anything and turn down all requests for advertising—I looked at them and said, “What in the hell are we going to do with these?”  They are uncured Berkshire pork franks, and they say that they “call them franks because of the extra effort we put into them. They are uncured and 100% Berkshire pork from the hind leg, coarse-ground like wonderful Old World sausage. They are applewood-smoked and have a subtly sweet and delightfully salty taste. The snap our frank makes when you bite into it is exactly what you would expect….Perfection.”

Alright, so we have a package of uncured Berkshire pork franks.  I thought of calling Gordon Ramsay, but it was too late in England to ring him up, and after a day of fox-hunting, dinner time here in the U.S. was quickly approaching with two girls waiting for my creation.  Having spent many days putting food on the table hunting, my family knows that I can whip about anything up into a quick dish thanks to my mother.  And, since County Berkshire is home to Britain’s oldest breed of pig, I had the revelation that they must have made the traditionally English bangers and mash from these links, probably since the beginning of time, and since I couldn’t find Gordon on the speed dial, I put down the phone and picked up the skillet.

In a large skillet over medium heat, I cooked the sausages until well browned.  And, since they said they were “uncured” but they looked cooked […]

By |March 24th, 2013|Cuisine, Recipes|Comments Off on Tender Belly Berkshire Pork Bangers and Mash

Berkshire Pork Chops

If you are a fan of the F-Word, you know your Berkshire pork from Gordan Ramsay’s infamous backyard Berkshire’s, Trinny and Susannah.  The flavor and texture of Berkshire pork sets it apart from other breeds. It has a distinctive, rich, buttery taste with unparalleled juiciness, tenderness and depth of flavor. When you cut into Berkshire pork you see dark red, rich color with exquisite intramuscular marbling.

As you know, here at the Sporting Road château, we only post these recipes for our family and friends.  We aren’t advertising, selling anything or have any ulterior motive other than posting the best recipes we have found in our travels along the Sporting Road throughout the word.  Our pork belly commodity trader friend, Steven Wiskow, was so excited about his new Tender Belly pork products that he gave some to us to try here at the château.  As I turn down making money from this site, as any gentleman should, and since the author remains anonymous, we’d tell you if they suck, as we only feature the best recipes here for our family and friends.  But, as it turns out, this Berkshire pork doesn’t suck, in fact you can’t find any better pork, anywhere.

Tender Belly writes:

We work in partnership with a co-op of 30 Iowa farmers (all small, family-owned farms) to supply us with the finest meats available.
The methods used to procure the meats are environmentally responsible and fully traceable with strict codes of responsibility and humane animal husbandry in effect.
The animals are naturally raised and humanely processed locally.
The animals are fed a 100% vegetarian diet, with no rendered animal byproducts, no antibiotics and no hormones.
Our product is the first cut at the […]

By |March 24th, 2013|Cuisine, Recipes|Comments Off on Berkshire Pork Chops

Tender Belly Bacon in the Microwave

If you think that cooking bacon in the microwave is a bit déclassé, as we did, try it for yourself.  We picked up this technique from Jacques Pepin who writes, “I learned how to cook bacon in the microwave oven from my wife and I now never cook it any other way.  It’s easy and crisps the bacon uniformly.”

While you can use a bacon microwave tray which have been around for some time now, we find them unnecessary and they still have the tendency to splatter.  We find that two paper towels on a plate, laying the bacon side-by-side and two more paper towels on top of the bacon work just as well as the specialized tray, and it avoids any splattering.  Cook on high for 4 minutes, then do 30 second intervals, until it is as crisp you like it.

If you are not using the best bacon on the planet, Tender Belly Bacon, you can also brush the top of the bacon with maple syrup or honey to impart a delicious taste.  If you have some Tender Belly, nothing else is needed as it already has their special seasonings and mojo added to these special tender belly bacon cuts.  Bon appetit!

Tender Belly writes, “Truly great bacon is the most honored legacy of a glorious tender belly! The heritage pigs we use for our bacon are from Iowa and are naturally grown: NO antibiotics, NO hormones, NO gestation or farrowing crates and they’re fed a 100% vegetarian diet. With their exceptional meat to fat ratio they are the perfect belly. Our signature maple and spice rub is applied, the bellies are dry cured and then cherrywood-smoked to perfection. We spared no expense with ingredients, process or time […]

By |March 24th, 2013|Cuisine, Recipes|Comments Off on Tender Belly Bacon in the Microwave

A Valentine’s Day Feast at the Château

For an interesting article on the tradition of Saint Valentine’s Day (there are actually three such saints and the legends are old and varied) visit  After sending your loved ones a handwritten card and bringing them some flowers, how about serving them a meal at home.  At the château, we serve this Valentine’s Day favorite five-course French meal:

Steamed Crab Legs


Cheese Fondue

Steamed Lobster

Brussels Sprouts

Chocolate Fondue

Café and Brandies

By |February 16th, 2013|Cuisine, Recipes|Comments Off on A Valentine’s Day Feast at the Château

Game Day Recipes for the Super Bowl

On Super Bowl weekend, more than a billion wings are consumed by Americans, making them America’s favorite party food.  In fact, there are several books written on just wings, such as Debbie Moose’s book, Wings.  She writes, “A whole wing comes in three clearly defined parts:  the ‘drumette,’ which looks like a miniature drumstick; the piece with the two small bones, called the flat; and the pointy tip, called the flapper.”  We like the drumettes, which you can buy in an already-cut-up package.  In addition to wings, these are our favorite game-day recipes:
Mex Chip Dip – from Mom (An Abbreviated Seven-Layer Dip Recipe)
Mix the following in a blender: 1 avocado, 8 oz. cream cheese, 4 oz. sour cream, 1 T. lime juice, dash salt and Tabasco.  Spread on large platter.  Top with layers of finely chopped lettuce, onion, tomato, (we added a layer of New Mexico Green Chiles, diced and another layer of guacamole)  and, then the final layer of shredded cheddar cheese.  Serve with tortilla chips and salsa.
Buffalo Quesadillas – Brooklyn’s
Sauté 1 T. olive oil, 2 t. minced garlic, ½ c. minced yellow onion, 1 minced jalapeno, 2 stalks celery minced,  over medium heat.  When onions are translucent, add 1 lb. ground buffalo until browned.  Season with Mexican seasoning.

In sauté pan, place tortilla with one side buttered and spread 2 oz. meat mixture and 2 ounces cheese onto tortilla just long enough to melt cheese.  Add second buttered tortilla and flip.  Cut into wedges and arrange on platter with shredded lettuce, sour cream, cilantro, and picante salsa.
Spicy Chicken Wings – Brooklyn’s
Our favorite wing recipe comes from Brooklyn’s, and it is a combination of the two most common techniques, baking and frying, which we […]

By |February 2nd, 2013|Recipes|Comments Off on Game Day Recipes for the Super Bowl
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    Jalapeno Jelly Recipe from the Polo Player’s Foxhunting Braai

Jalapeno Jelly Recipe from the Polo Player’s Foxhunting Braai

Marge Stevens and Mim Willyard started making jalapeno jelly some 16 years ago to support the local Christmas bazaar.  What started out small soon grew big and the largest demand is for the hotter jalapeno variety!  Lise Stevens introduced the Arapahoe Hunt to her mother’s famed jelly during hunt breakfasts.  The recipe was recently featured in Covertside Magazine, together with the equally famous annual Polo Player’s Foxhunting Braai.

This jalapeno jelly recipe will fill 8 of the 8 ounce canning jars (be sure to sterilize them in the dishwasher before using), which after they cool can be kept in a cool dark place until you need one for your next Braai or lamb dish.  Use a large stock pot for cooking the jelly ingredients, as the sugar will foam up with the boiling, so it is also helpful to keep a hair dryer on hand,  using it to blow down the foam so it doesn’t boil over.  It’s a very simple recipe which takes only about 20 minutes to prepare.

Click this link for the full recipe and to read the entire article in The Polo Players Foxhunting Braai in Covertside

By |December 17th, 2012|polo, Recipes|Comments Off on Jalapeno Jelly Recipe from the Polo Player’s Foxhunting Braai

Eat Like a Wild Man

This collection is some of the wildest, most delicious wild game and fish recipes that “Sports Afield” magazine has published over the lasts 110 years, lifelong food connoisseur and cookbook author Rebecca Gray has selected and infused a collection of wonderful old standards with her own culinary wizardry.  We love this cookbook!

By |June 23rd, 2012|Book Reviews, Recipes|Comments Off on Eat Like a Wild Man

Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time

Girl Hunter:  Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time is an admirably catchy title.  The recipes for Braised Pheasant Legs with Cabbage and Grapes, Chukar Pie, Quail en Papillote, Pheasant Tagine, Duck Confit, Fireplace Venison Tenderloin, Chorizo Sausage, Jugged Hare, Game Bird Stock to Everyday Dry Rub and tips on aging game, should have been all right up my alley.  But, somehow I couldn’t get that into the book, nor the recipes beyond the initial appearances which are good.  Maybe I was just in bad mood, as it has all the right elements, including the author being a classically trained chef and devoted hunter.  Maybe it was the lack of pictures of the recipes.  Maybe it was the lack of wild, edible foods.  But, we can agree that, “Whatever your journey, wherever you find it, may it be a wild one.”

And the  on a Moveable Hunt, harkens to Hemingway and I particularly like the Waiting for Pate in the Floatant chapter.  And, who can’t appreciate the Jose Ortega y Gasset quotes, such as “One does not hunt in order to kill, on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted.”  I wanted to love this book from the cover and the title, but maybe it just requires catching me on a better night, so I am avoiding any star-based review, as I like the concept of it and hope to hear from others who really enjoyed it, as I really want to like it.

By |June 22nd, 2012|Book Reviews, Recipes, Wingshooting|Comments Off on Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time

Bodemeister Runs in the 2012 Kentucky Derby this Saturday

The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States, and for most of American history, thoroughbred racing was the country’s most popular sport. Held on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, it has been held every year since it was begun on May 17, 1875.

The Derby brings into the region hundreds of millions of dollars a year, while the horse industry in Kentucky is a $3 billion industry. An economic impact study from a decade ago — the last one conducted — said then that the Derby brought at least $220 million to Louisville, and that is believed to have at least doubled since them, according to the Fiscal Times.

Here’s our favorite recipes for Derby Day.  And our hot tip for horses is Bodemeister.

By |May 3rd, 2012|Recipes|Comments Off on Bodemeister Runs in the 2012 Kentucky Derby this Saturday