The Main Menu: Ribs on the barbecue is a great way to welcome June

Ribs, along with lemon skewered potatoes and rhubarb pie on the menu as columnist Jan Main welcomes the month of June.


June is one of the most beautiful times of the year. It is also a perfect time for the barbecue. Make the most of early summer days with recipes designed for outdoor dining.

Tips for the Barbecue:

• Check the barbecue grill to make sure it is clean and ready to use.
• If you are using a propane gas barbecue, have a spare tank of propane.
• Cooking on the barbecue is usually a short time compared to the rest of the meal. Prepare everything else before you start the barbecue: Set the table, prepare salad and vegetable dishes, make dessert and have it ready to serve, chill drinks and have ice available, assemble serving utensils.
• Prepare one or two simple appetizers ready to serve while the main course cooks on the barbecue. Better still, if someone asks, “What can I bring?” Let them bring an appetizer.

This preparation simplifies preparation, streamlines serving and means you can enjoy time with your guests!

Maple Glazed Ribs

This method ensures tender ribs with a flavourful sauce glazed on the ribs not burned. If possible, buy pork back ribs on sale to reduce the cost. They can be bought ahead and frozen ready to barbecue later.

3 – 4 lbs (2 kg) pork back ribs (side ribs can be used but they are not as meaty; you will need to buy more)
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) real maple syrup
3 tbsp (45 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) ketchup
1 tbsp (15 mL) each, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven cover ribs with cold water, bay leaf and chopped onion. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer about 1 to 1 ½ hours or until tender. Drain discarding bay leaf and onion.

Meanwhile, in saucepan combine maple syrup, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes. Place ribs in a large shallow container and pour sauce over to coat. Allow ribs to marinate 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat barbecue to medium high. Remove ribs from sauce reserving marinade. Barbecue ribs about 20 minutes or until tender and glazed. Cut into serving portions. Serve with remaining sauce. Makes 4- 6 servings

Lemon Skewered Potatoes

Roasting steamed potatoes on the barbecue makes them taste “Morish! ”The more you eat, the more you want!

1 bag new potatoes (1.5 lb/ 750 grams)

Basting Sauce

1/3 cup (75 mL) each, fresh lemon juice and vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 ml) black pepper

Using a steamer, over a saucepan of simmering water, arrange potatoes in an even layer in steamer and cover with saucepan lid. Let them cook just until tender but not mushy about 8-10 minutes.

Remove from heat, pour basting sauce over potatoes and gently turn to coat in sauce. When cool enough to handle, centre 4 potatoes on a single skewer to act as a serving. While ribs are cooking; place on grill or foil sprayed with baking spray and grill about 5-10 minutes or until heated through turning regularly to cook evenly. Serve with the ribs.

Rhubarb Lattice Pie

Nothing says summer like a rhubarb pie, made from garden fresh rhubarb. (If necessary, you can use frozen rhubarb in this recipe. Follow instructions below.)

If time is short, use two purchased pie shells, thawing the one to cut into a lattice for the top. However, if possible, make this delectable butter pastry for the pie. Serve with a dollop of good vanilla ice cream to celebrate summer!

Butter Pastry

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1/4 cup (50 mL) shortening
1/2cup (125 mL) cold water

Rhubarb Pie Filling

5 cups (1.25 L) washed rhubarb cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm pieces
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon

Pastry: In a mixing bowl, measure the flour. (How to measure flour for baking: Use a dry measuring cup and a spoon. Spoon the flour into dry measuring cup and level off with the flat edge of the knife.
Stir in salt. Cut butter and shortening into small pieces and add to the flour mixture.Using a pastry blender, cut fat into flour until a coarse crumb. Sprinkle this flour mixture with water and stir until it clumps together.

Using hands shape into ball; divide into 2 equal pieces and roll out between 2 pieces of parchment paper until 1/8- inch (3mm) thick, rolling away from you and turning paper as you want to form a circle about 1 inch (2.5 cm) larger than the rim of the 9- inch (23 cm) pie plate. Loosen the top layer of parchment paper and invert the remaining piece with the pastry into pie plate sprayed with baking spray.

Top Lattice: Repeat the rolling as above but once you get it to the desired 1/8 inch (3mm) thickness, using a knife cut into even strips. Carefully take one strip and lay on a piece of parchment, arrange the next strip perpendicular through the centre. Alternate lengthwise then crosswise strips weaving in and out until all pastry strips leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) between strips to make a lattice. Refrigerate pastry.

Filling: Pre-heat oven to 425 F (220 C). Put fresh or frozen rhubarb pieces in mixing bowl; pour boiling water over rhubarb from kettle and let a rhubarb stand a few minutes, 2 minutes for fresh and longer for frozen until it thaws. Drain thoroughly. This removes some bitterness from the rhubarb.

Mix sugar and flour together with cinnamon; sprinkle over rhubarb and stir in evenly to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared pie shell. Carefully take the lattice on parchment paper and invert parchment over the pie so that lattice can be released. Arrange any lattice which has lost its shape. Crimp the outside edges to make a neat frill. Place pie on baking sheet (to catch drips)

Bake in pre-heated oven about 40 minutes or until pastry is golden and rhubarb tender. Cool on rack.

Serve pie warm or at room temperature. Cut into 6 wedges and serve with ice cream. Makes 6 servings.

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