Cookbook Review: Paula Deen’s Kitchen Classics by Paula Deen

My rating 3 1/2 stars

I have just fallen in love with beef short ribs.

I had some at the La Brasserie in Melbourne and inhaled the melt in the mouth fatty beef like oxygen. So now, along with my chocolate cake search, I’m trying to find the perfect short ribs recipe. First stop is the American South. Lets check out the Queen of Savannah – Paula Deen.

I love Paula Deen, she has silver fluffy hair and says y’all, y’all. She is also hilarious and down to earth – she whipped out chicken fillet bra fillers on The View! How can you not love this woman!

The book combines her two previously published works – “The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook” and “The Lady & Sons Too!”.  The Lady & Sons is her eponymous restaurant in Savannah, Georgia.

The weird thing about this book is I can’t believe how many processed short cuts she uses.

For example, most of the pies are made from frozen pre-made pie crusts (in tin foil) and a can of condensed milk. The savory recipes often use “house seasoning”- salt, pepper and garlic powder and crushed RITZ crackers.

This is not a criticism. Actually, it means that most of the recipes can be easily made by the home cook with ingredients already in the pantry. And, because this is Southern American cooking, you would at least be making something different with what you normally have at home.

Be warned that the book has no photos. Just pages and pages of recipes of good old fashioned Southern fare.

Tempters include: The Lady’s Oven Roasted Ribs, Sausage and Grits, Southern Fried Chicken, Pecan Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Peach Cobbler, Corny Corn Bread… the list goes on.

So the recipes are really simple but it would help to have some cooking skills or vague knowledge as there are no visual guides.

I really wanted to try the Barbeque Short Ribs given I’m on a braised short rib odyssey…

I think in Victoria short ribs are sold as ASADO at Vic Market and Box Hill. Not sure why…

Do you love my cleaver!!!

Barbeque Short Ribs by Paula Deen

  • 2 pounds short ribs, cut in 2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Trim the top layer of fat from the short ribs. Place several pieces of this fat in a Dutch oven, and cook over medium heat until bottom is lightly coated with fat, and remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle the short ribs with salt, brown them on all sides, and then removing them when they are done.

I kind of cheated here and did my browning in a non stick and then put it all into my Le Creuset – I just find cleaning the Le Creuset a bit of a chore.

Add the onion and slightly saute until lightly browned. Return the short ribs to the pot and add the ketchup, water, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, salt, and Worcestershire sauce.

Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 2 hours, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Or cook in covered pot in 300 F oven (148C). I ended up cooking it on the stove.

After 1 hour it looks like this

After 2 hours it looks like this

In the end it looks like this… drool.

The ribs are pretty good – sweet, tangy and soft. I wanted them a bit more tender so I put them back on the stove but the sauce began to split. So I reckon 2 hours is the max.

The sauce needs a bit of heat and some herb elements I think. That said, it’s a really easy recipe – literally dump, stir, heat, eat. A terrific basic for a cold winters day.

This is a fun book if you are a fan of Paula Deen and want some new ideas for what to do with your kitchen staples.

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Always shop around. I bought my copy at Deen’s Kitchen Classics: The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook and The Lady & Sons, Too!

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