Angry Orchard Feeds Your July 4th Celebrations

"Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and hard cider." That's how the guys and Angry Orchard would like the jingle to read.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

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Apples are distinctly American. Apple pie. Johnny Appleseed. The Big Apple. Fiona Apple. Appleton, Wisc. You get the idea.

To celebrate America’s birthday this 4th of July, the guys at Angry Orchard Hard Cider sent over some of their festive recipes to celebrate everything apple and American – or everything American apples.

Related: Jim Beam Fires Up July 4th Cocktails

Slow Cooked Country Style Ribs with Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

Serves four.

Ribs:

  • 4 pounds country-style pork ribs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola oil 3⁄4 cup Apple Cider Rib Sauce

Apple Cider Rib Sauce:

  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups Angry Orchard Crisp Apple cider 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • 1⁄2 cup molasses
  • 1⁄2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup honey, preferably sourwood
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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Preparation:

Pat the ribs dry and season both sides with the salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over high heat until smoking. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Brown the ribs on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side, until deep golden brown. Move the ribs to a plate and pour the oil out of the pan, then deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water.

Make the sauce by combining all ingredients in a sauce pan and bringing to a boil over medium heat. Once the mixture boil remove it from the heat and blend with a hand held immersion blender until smooth. Reserve until ready to use, and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Mix the sauce, pan juices, and any juices from the rib plate in a large slow cooker. Add the ribs, cover, and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours or low for 4 hours.

When the ribs are almost done cooking, preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Place a rack in the pan and spray with nonstick spray. Transfer the ribs to the rack and brush with the sauce from the slow cooker. Broil until brown and crusty, about 3 minutes on each side. Brush again with sauce when the ribs come out of the broiler.

Reserve the remaining sauce from the slow cooker and serve with the ribs.

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Cheddar Bacon Burger Sliders with Angry Orchard Barbecue Sauce and Charred Jalapeño Relish

Makes 8 sliders.

Marinade:

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili powder
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 cups Angry Orchard Crisp Apple cider 3 cups apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 twelve-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1⁄2 cup molasses
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Relish:

  • 8 ea raw jalapeño peppers
  • 1 cup pickled jalapeno pepper slices
  • 1 tablespoon Angry Orchard crisp apple cider 1 clove garlic, chopped coarse
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped coarse
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Preparation:

Burgers:

  • 12 oz ground beef chuck
  • 12oz ground smoked bacon
  • 8oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ea slider buns, toasted

To make the barbecue sauce, combine all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to low. Cook on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Blend with an immersion blender to smooth. Store in an airtight container in fridge for up to 1 month. To make the relish, begin by charring the raw jalapeños on all sides directly over an open gas burner. If you do not have a gas burner, this can be done in a very hot cast iron pan on the grill or on the stove. The entire outside should be charred black before removing them from the heat. Place charred peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool enough to handle, charred skins will slip off and can be removed. Discard stem and seeds at this time as well. Place roasted peppers in the bowl of a food processor along with all other relish ingredients. Pulse for a few seconds to obtain a coarse salsa-like texture. Remove and chill. This can be done up to 1 week in advance.

To serve:

Begin by heating a charcoal or gas grill to medium high in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Mix together ground beef, bacon, and cheese. Mix very gently to distribute and portion the mixture out into 8 equal balls. Smash balls down to 1⁄2 inch thickness and season the outsides with salt and pepper. Place the burgers on the grill and cook over medium high heat to until the cheese in each patty begins to melt from the meat. This should take approximately 2 minutes per side. Just before removing from the grill, baste the burgers with the barbecue sauce. Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest for 2 minutes before serving. Serve burgers topped with a liberal spoonful of jalapeño relish on top and extra barbecue sauce on the side.