BBQ tempeh “ribs”

What? I haven’t posted this entire year yet? What the hell is wrong with me?

I’m so sorry. *makes the puppy-dog eyes*

I’ll make it up to you, right here and now. With my dad’s beef short ribs recipe, vegan-style.

My dad has a habit of sending me mouth-watering recipes, but conveniently forgets every time that I’m vegan and I don’t put veal bones in my soup stock (for example). He sent me this recipe for beef short ribs the other day. It sounded so good (and I miss BBQ ribs so much) that I decided to *gasp* change my dad’s patented recipe.

That’s right. Here you go. It’s time-consuming but really easy to prepare, and so worth your time. Enjoy.

2 lbs tempeh (doesn’t matter what kind), quartered to make “ribs”
salt and ground pepper
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced (not too thin though. maybe 1/8″ thick)
4 sprigs fresh thyme (I used english thyme, if you’re picky about that sort of thing)
2 dried bay leaves
2 tbsp ground toasted coriander seeds (toast first, grind next, measure last)
1 bottle red wine (Dad recommends merlot, I didn’t have it so I put in cheap Pinot Noir because I live in California and can get cheap Pinot Noir)
3 cups vegan chicken stock (we get this at Rainbow Grocery in bulk; use regular vegetable stock if you can’t find it where you are)

BBQ sauce
1 cup ketchup (I used Annie’s organic)
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup yellow mustard (I used Heinz, but French’s would do as well. Just don’t use powdered mustard!)
4 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground toasted coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp ground black peppercorns
1/2 tsp garlic powder (Dad’s called for onion powder, but I didn’t have that so I improvised with excellent results)
3 tsp ground cayenne pepper (if you like your BBQ sauce spicy – omit if you don’t)

Corn (for side dish)
1 ear of corn, husked, per person
1 wedge of lemon per person
1/4 cup or so 50/50 salt and ground pepper mix

1. Boil tempeh in water for 15 minutes. This makes it accept the marinade seasonings better. Trust me. Remove tempeh from water, place on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown the tempeh in olive oil on medium-high heat in a skillet, both sides. This might take about 10 minutes for each side. Place in an enameled casserole dish.
2. Saute carrots, celery, onion and garlic in the same skillet over medium-high heat. You might need to add more olive oil. Saute until soft and a little browned, about 20 minutes. Make sure to mix it well to get all the tempeh “drippings”.
3. Add thyme, bay leaves, ground coriander and wine. Bring to a boil, then ladle the entire marinade over your tempeh “ribs”. Cover the casserole pan and refrigerate overnight. Or an hour. I originally intended to marinate the tempeh overnight but I just can’t wait that long today.
4. Pour marinade and tempeh into a large saute pan. Remove the tempeh and place it back into the casserole dishes. Add vegan chicken stock to the saute pan and bring the whole thing to a boil.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Pour the marinade / stock mixture over the tempeh and cover the casserole dish. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Uncover the casserole dish and braise for 15 minutes or so.
7. Make your BBQ sauce: combine all ingredients together in a pot. Boil on the stove for 20 minutes. Cover until the tempeh is done.
8. Remove the casserole dish from the oven, discard everything but the tempeh (which you’ll keep in the casserole dish).
9. Put the oven to Broil.
10. Smother the tempeh with BBQ sauce. Broil that bad boy for about 10 minutes.

For the corn, it’s really simple (and really delicious):
Grill the ears of corn until they are browned all over. You want to get them really carmel-colored. Put them on a plate. Dip a wedge of lemon in the salt / pepper mixture and smear it all over the corn. You’ll probably have to dip it a few times. Use a fresh wedge for each ear. That’s it.

The brussels sprouts are even easier. Trim off 1/16″ off the bottom, peel off any leaves that are brown. Coat with olive oil, grill till browned.

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