Against the Grain Dining – Wholly Cow!!!

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I was on the run today and needed a quick bite. Not us how I ever missed this place when I was living downtown, but it’s killer. Located just south of 7th St on Congress, Wholly Cow features local, grass-fed beef in all their burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, reubens and chili as well as locally-grown organic produce.

I went with the Fit Cross Burger and Sweet Potato Fries (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know they’re not paleo, but it was one of those days 😉 The burger was hugged between two portobello mushroom caps with lettuce, tomato and onions. The mushroom caps are a nice change from my standard naked burger. There’s something just not quite right about having to eat a burger with silverware and lettuce cups tend to disintegrate about halfway through. I’ve had other restaurants attempts at shroom buns, but most of the time you end up with one of two things. The caps are either raw and end up crumbling, or they are over marinated or cooked to the point that they are a slimy mess. This was perfect. I’ll definitely be back and will have to checkout their S. Lamar location inside Zen Food Mart and Convenience Store. Zen is also known for their selection of local organic produce for sale as well as organic non-GMO Fredericksburg Peaches while you’re there. Noms!!!

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The original location is located inside the new ZEN Food Mart Convenience Store at 3010 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78704. 512-394-8156.
Restaurant hours are:
Mon-Thurs from 7AM – 9:30PM.
Friday & Saturday 7AM -10:30PM.
Sunday 10:30AM – 8:30PM.

The downtown location is at 619 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701. 512-425-0811
Hours are:
Monday – Thursday 8AM – 9PM.
Friday 8AM – 3AM. Saturday 10AM – 3AM.
Sunday 10:30AM – 8:30PM.

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Vindaloo Pork Ribs… Guaranteed to Offend

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I love experimenting/playing with my food. I was craving some ribs, but don’t have time in my day for firing up a grill between work and school then volunteering at the hospital before studying. I secretly have a love affair with my crock pot.

So back to the ribs… These ribs are politically incorrect on so many levels and will probably offend a few of y’all. So bring on the angry mob!!!  Where do I begin? Ummm I guess let’s start with the seasoning. Vindaloo is a seasoning from Goa, a coastal city in India. Being that the primary population is Hindu and Muslim, pork is obviously taboo. Vindaloo Pork is however a very popular Catholic dish as a result of Spanish and Portuguese rule and trade in the area, but the words and sounds that came out of my mouth when I opened the lid were absolutely sinful. Did I say open the lid? Yep, these are crock pot ribs.  Ya see, down here in Texas, they seem to think that you don’t boil your ribs, you don’t bake your ribs, you don’t boil your ribs, you smoke em. That’s it… Oh well, more for me.

Note: Keep in mind that the method for these ribs can be followed for any number of flavor, spice and sauce combinations so feel free to get creative…

Ingredients:
4-5 lbs Pork Back Ribs
4 tbsp Coconut Oil or Rendered Bacon Fat
6 tbsp Vindaloo Seasoning, or more to completly cover
1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
1 Bulb Garlic, cloves smashed
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Organic Local Honey
1 tbsp Chili Flakes
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Method:
1. Trim any excess fat from ribs. Flip over and score the connective tissue on the back of ribs with a knife. Cut each slab in half between two of the ribs. Season ribs completely with vindaloo seasoning, salt and pepper.
2. Put onion, garlic and vinegar in crock pot. Do not turn on yet.
3. Heat oil in large saute pan at med-hi heat. Sear the ribs meat side down then carefully with tongs sear the sides and ends.
4. Place ribs in crock pot, cover with lid and turn heat to low and cook for 8 hours.
5. When finished cooking, remove ribs and place on sheet pan to rest. Preheat broiler to 500º F
6. Pour or ladle drippings in bottom of crock pot into blender and puree completely.
7. Pour into sauce pan. Add honey and chili flakes, simmer and allow to reduce to sauce consistancy.
8. Brush sauce generously over meat side of ribs. Broil until sauce begins to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Be very careful as they will go from caramelizing to burning very quickly.
9. Make a mess and enjoy!!!