On this episode of Cook’s Country TV, hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison make flavorful, finger-licking Slow-Cooker Memphis-Style Wet Ribs. Next, Jack Bishop reveals the best apple cider vinegar. (Yes, we drank it straight up and in recipes to determine the best-tasting.) Finally, test cook Ashley Moore teaches Bridget how to make a leftover favorite, Mashed Potato Cakes, minus the leftover potatoes.
Here are three things we learned in this episode.
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Ribs and Mashed Potatoes RevisitedBridget Lancaster shows Julia Collin Davison how to make slow cooker ribs. Then, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Julia Collin Davison to a tasting of apple cider vinegar. Lastly, Ashley Moore shares a leftover favorite for Mashed Potato Cakes.
1. To Barbecue in the Slow Cooker, Treat the Meat as If It's Going Outside
That means not adding any additional sauce or broth to the slow cooker. As the ribs start to cook, they’ll give off some of their own liquid. If we were to add liquid into the slow cooker we’d get a washed-out taste, losing that big outdoor flavor that normally comes with barbecue. While you may still enjoy that watered-down flavor, our recipe reminds you that you don’t have to for settle for it.
2. In Apple Cider Vinegar, Sweetness Matters More Than Acidity
People espouse the benefits of drinking straight apple cider vinegar, but we wanted to know which brand is better to use when it comes to cooking. To figure this out, we tried apple cider vinegar in coleslaw, in a pan sauce, and in a barbecue sauce. We found that while the acidity levels were consistent among brands, the level of sugar in each changed how the final flavor was perceived. Check out our apple cider vinegar taste test to learn what the winning brand is we recommend depending on what you’re cheffing up in the kitchen.
3. You Don’t Need Leftover Mashed Potatoes to Make Potato Cakes
Traditionally, this recipe calls for leftover mashed potatoes, but we’ve learned that not knowing how much dairy or butter the cook put in the original potatoes can leave you with loose or mushy cakes. We may be control freaks, but our from-scratch Mashed Potato Cake recipe isn’t any more complicated than one that calls for leftovers, and the results are fresher and more consistent.