Les Boites de Surprises de Nico


I love both extravagant packaging and surprises!  Babou’s husband, Nico, “peeped my hole card” and provided me with both.  That’s why I gave him half of my ribs.  But we’ll discuss that later.  At first, he sent me his thanks for the Easter lunch in the form of, I thought, a really small hat.  Unfortunately, unlike Jade, I don’t have the face nor head for hats and certainly not a little hat 🙂  I prepared to fake intense pleasure.  :-O  After all, it’s the thought that counts.


Surprise!  French macarons from one of my favorite towns, Fontainebleau.  The reason why these are a little crumbly is because Le Parret had been pawing at them 😀


During Easter lunch we discussed mustards, comparing the German sweet mustard with the types of mustards found in France.  Nico told us about a “white” mustard that I’d never seen nor heard of.  It was only later, during an internet search, that I understood what he meant.  There are apparently two types of mustard plants in France; one is called yellow mustard and the other white mustard.  This has little or nothing to do with the color of the mustard once it’s processed, but refers to the plant used.


Anyway, at the next coffee morning, Babou brought me what I assumed to be a small bucket of “white” mustard  from Nico.  I absolutely loved the bucket but, overwhelmed by Nico’s generosity and apparent enthusiasm for this mustard, wondered how many recipes of duck, chicken, rabbit, etc. I would have to make before I could finish it off.


Surprise!  Inside the bucket, covered by a stylish cardboard cover, was a normal sized jar of mustard.  I was dazzled 🙂  The French are soooo cool!  At times.


I guess we should discuss the ribs now.  Jacques ordered 2 slabs of American cut ribs for me from the abbatoir/slaughterhouse.  They were beautiful as usual.  Nico and Babou, who have visited the States many times, adore our ribs and so I gave them a slab with minute instructions for pre-cooking.  Nico had a honey mustard sauce he wanted to make for the glaze.  Sounded great!


Bemoaning the fact that I have forgotten everything my father ever taught me about barbecue sauce and unwilling to go to the store for anything, I cobbled together a not bad sauce with things I had on hand.  It is bitterly cold outside today, so this was a job for the “Piano Gastronome” Lacanche or, in other words, my oven 🙂


Now, my father would get up at the crack of dawn and, in constant attendance, with only a beer or several,  slowly smoke his ribs all day long.   Country Wood Smoke probably does that.  Not me.  It’s either off flame grilling or into the oven for 1 hour.  Not close to old school, but as far as I’m willing to go.


I found these cute little half cans of tomato paste at the back of the cupboard.  I wonder when and where I bought these.  My father also cooked his BBQ sauce all day, like good spaghetti sauce.  1 hour works too 😉


I know that some people from other parts of the U.S. (probably the Midwest or the North) cook their ribs and then just pour the sauce on top.  Well!  That’s all I can say.  Well!


Suggestion:  Slather the sauce all over the roasted ribs and then, on the grill or in a hot oven, caramelize the sauce, turning often and basting.

Oven Roasted Ribs with Kitchen BBQ Sauce

2 large shallots, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

3 tbsp butter

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1 1/2 tsp sage

1 1/2 tsp basil

1 little, tall can tomato paste

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

4 tbsp molasses

2 slabs pork ribs

Salt and pepper

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

To make the sauce, saute the shallots and garlic in the butter until soft.  Add the salt, pepper, crushed red, sage, basil and tomato paste, stirring to blend.  Add the vinegar, water and molasses, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Season the ribs with salt and pepper.  Mix together the garlic, rosemary and olive oil, then rub on both sides of the ribs.  Roast the ribs for 1 hour in a 350 F oven on a rack.

Remove the ribs, heat the oven to 425 F and generously paint both sides of the slabs with the prepared sauce.  Turn and baste the ribs every 5 minutes for 15-20 minutes.

Wine suggestion:  Morgon


About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Les Boites de Surprises de Nico

  1. Amanda says:

    Wow this is great! Great gifts too.

  2. Linda Duffin says:

    Oh, good heavens, I’m ravenous after looking at those ribs. They look perfect. What generous friends you have, too.

  3. Jing says:

    Oh man, I just had lunch. Now I feel like I didn’t!

  4. Mad Dog says:

    Excellent and I’ve always wondered about how much mustard was in one of those buckets 🙂

  5. Serena says:

    Looks gorgeous!

  6. Conor Bofin says:

    I love that you do things your own way, Rosemary. Though I think I could have spent some happy time smoking with your father.

  7. Mary Frances says:

    I love the packaging of the cookies AND the mustard. So cool.

  8. Aha the ribs – they look amazing! And the gifts, the mustard, the bucket…so many wonderful things!

  9. AnotherDish says:

    Very nice take on BBQ sauce, with the herbs, molasses… Great! I have to say that, in the “North” (at least at this house), we would never cook the ribs, dump some sauce on them, and call it BBQ. Oh no. Specialty around here (again, at this house) is to prepare the ribs with a dry rub marinade (“vous sauce” alla Rendezvous in Memphis), then smoke them for hours in the electric smoker out back. Problem is, the smoker smokes out my neighbors, so I don’t do it that often.

  10. Cecile says:

    I’ve made homemade barbeque sauce before but I really, really like your recipe! And it’s always so much fun to read about your latest adventures!!

  11. Serena says:

    Wow! Your ribs seem to be prepared and cooked at absolute perfection! I love the sauce!!!

  12. Fantastic recipe, of course. Love the addition of ‘at times’, after claiming the French are cool 😀

  13. yitzelruiz says:

    Reblogged this on dollcoronel.

  14. cupcakepedia says:

    Reblogged this on Cupcakepedia and commented:
    Summer is not yet here but BBQ is certainly on my mind and I will just take advantage of the sunny weather and storm up some BBQ…

  15. Don't assume, then you make and ass out of you and me says:

    I would like to say that your comment about the US is totally false. No one ever in their right mind would cook ribs and then cover them in BBQ sauce. And if they did, it is simply not BBQ it is called being lazy.

Leave a Reply