Is it bad of me to tell you that even as a Texan... I can't stand to eat meat off the bone? I'm a white meat only (no dark meat here) and boneless kind of girl. I always have been for as long as I can possibly remember. That's right. I don't care for ribs on the bone, wings (or legs) on the bone, or even steak on the bone! No bones about it.
I've said it before, I could very easily become a vegetarian. In fact, I've found that eating meatless dinners 2-3 days of the week slash my grocery bill and helps me to feel better overall. That being said, I am a Texan and barbecue is a weekly requirement as well!
Since I'm a boneless fan, skewers are sort my go-to for faux ribs. It gives me that raw carnivore feel while not grossing me out in the process. Plus, I get to use a leaner cut of meat for my 'ribs' - which meals less calories and less guilt.
I've made these ribs a few times this summer, each time in sort of a trial-and-error situation. Each time though, I've used the same cut of meat, a pork tenderloin. Why? It's leaner than ribs, tender, and less expensive than it's beef counterpart.
Since we just got a new grill back in July (after ours was killed off by a wicked winter storm), we're still in the process of learning the ropes with grilling on it. As you know, there's always that one finicky point that's hotter or cooler than the other areas. Grilling; it's a process, an art form... dare I say... a science even?
Speaking of art, look at that snazzy Wilton Armetale Gourmet Grillware! I feel like I should have cooked fish on it, but... I'm not a fan of seafood either. Despite it's fishy shape (hehe), you don't have to use this grill pan for fish alone. It works just as wonderfully with any other meat in helping you to grill it to perfection!
Working with apple butter is always a fun experience. It's challenging, makes me kick my braincells into high gear and put requites me to put a lot of thought into what I'm doing. Sometimes, you just have to step outside the box a bit.
I know generally when people think of apple butter, they immediately think of sweets, but no! You can use apple butter in so many ways. Yes, even in barbecue!
Healthified Pork Skewers "Faux Ribs"
Servings: 5 • Size: 3 Skewers • Calories: 289.9 • Fat: 5.7 g • Carb: 25.2 g • Fiber: 1.4 g • Protein: 32.4 g • Sugar: 19.5 g • Sodium: 681 mg
1 1/4 Lbs. Pork Tenderloin
1/2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
1/2 C. Pickled Jalapeño Juice
About 15 Skewers Sticks (Wooden or otherwise.)
Apple-Mustard B.B.Q. Sauce:
1 C. Yellow Mustard
1 C. Apple Butter (I used Musselman's!)
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1/2 Tsp. Cayenne
1/2 Tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp. Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper to Taste (I used 1 tsp. each.)
Carefully pierce the tenderloin all over with a fork.
Place the pork loin, taco seasoning, and jalapeño juice into a ziplock bag (or other airtight container) together to marinate.
I left mine in the fridge overnight, turning over at least once during that 24 hour time period.
Once marinated, remove the pork from the bag and discard the remaining marinade.
Cut the tenderloin in half and then cut each half down into about 7-8 long strips. Giving you about 15 skewers per 1 1/2 lb. tenderloin.
Mine were about 6 inches long, 1 inch wide, and a 1/2 inch thick.
Skewer the strips length wise along skewer sticks.
In a medium bowl, mix together the ingredients for the bbq sauce and brush about half of it over the pork skewers. Reserve the remaining half to brush over the skewers while grilling.
Grill the skewers to reach at least 165 degrees f. using whatever method of your choosing. We used the outdoor grill today on a medium-high heat for about 15-20 minutes to get them good and crispy - just the way I like them.
Serve right away and enjoy!