Archive for category Barbecue

Rub n’ Slather Ribs

BBQ RibsI’m calling these Rub n’ Slather Ribs because they are cooked in two stages. Overall, these ribs take about four hours to cook at a low temperature of 250 degrees. The first stage is to cook them for two hours after applying a rub. After the first two hours, you add barbecue sauce and cook for an additional two hours.

I really dislike store-bought barbecue sauce. It doesn’t matter what the brand is; the stuff just doesn’t taste good to me. One of the things I dislike about them is the “smoke” taste. If you, on the other hand, like that smoky flavor, you can simply add “Liquid Smoke” to the homemade barbecue sauce.

The rub calls for an ingredient called Vulcan’s Fire Salt. This indispensable little condiment can be ordered from The Spice House, and it’s one of the things I keep in my spice cabinet. If you don’t have it or don’t want to wait to try these, you can always use a Cajun spice — which can be purchased at your local supermarket. The barbecue sauce also calls for a bit of a specialty product called Slap Ya Mama. You can also replace that with a Cajun spice. However, I highly recommend that you get both of these and stock this stuff.

This recipe works with both baby back ribs and regular ribs.

Ingredients

3.5-4 lbs pork ribs (baby back or otherwise)

Ingredients for Pig Rub

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp white pepper

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp coriander

2 tsp Vulcan’s Fire Salt

1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

Ingredients for Pork Slather Barbecue Sauce

16 oz tomato sauce

4 tbsp tomato paste

1/3 cup ketchup

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 tbsp Slap Ya Mama Cajun spice

1 tbsp dry mustard

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp onion powder

3 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp fresh-ground black pepper

1.5 tsp sea salt

Directions

Mix together all the ingredients for both the rub. Be sure to mix well.

Prepare the ribs by cutting the top flap off each rack of ribs. Keep for use in another recipe, like say, a black bean soup (which I promise to get to).

Line baking dishes with aluminum foil (depending upon how many racks of ribs you’re cooking). Apply the rub liberally to both the underside and the top of the ribs. The idea here is to have absolutely none left over.

Place in the foil-lined baking dish(es) and cook for two hours, uncovered, at 250 degrees.

While the ribs are cooking, mix all of the ingredients together for the barbecue sauce. Whisk at the end to ensure that everything is incorporated.

At the end of two hours, remove the ribs from the oven and slather the top with barbecue sauce. Be sure to cover the whole area using a brush. Cover the ribs with aluminum foil and return to the oven for another two hours. After two hours, remove the aluminum foil and switch the oven to “Broil.” Leave the ribs in for an additional 5-8 minutes. Be sure to put the oven hood on and open a window. I’ve set off many a smoke detector with this kind of behavior.

 

 

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled-pork-sandwich-499x446This has been a year of cookouts for us. Ironically, one of the most popular things I make for our cookouts are made in the house: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. There’s nothing like it. This is one of three recipes I will put on this blog in the next few days. I also have one for pulled chicken and pulled beef.

There are several trains of thought on pulled pork. One is that you need a “basting” sauce if you cook it in the oven, but all you need to do is put a “rub” on the meat if you’re making it in a slow cooker. My train of thought? Why not both? It only adds to the incredible flavor. So, that’s the recipe I’m giving you.

Forget about using an “lean” pork cut for this dish. What you need is pork butt. Yes, it has fat in it, but there’s plenty of opportunity to get rid of the excess fat once the meat is cooked and easily separated. Frankly, there isn’t much to remove once the cooking is complete.

Ingredients for the Rub

1 boneless pork butt, about 3-4 lbs

2 tbsp dark brown sugar

6 garlic cloves, cut in half

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp coriander

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp dried thyme

Directions for the Rub

First, make slices in the pork butt and insert the half garlic cloves. Then mix the rest of the ingredients together and rub all over the pork butt, top, bottom and sides. Place the pork butt in a dish, cover with plastic wrap and allow this to sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Directions for the Cooking Sauce (also known as Mop)

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp salt

2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Whisk all of this together the night before you put the pork in the slow cooker so that all the flavors meld together. Refrigerate overnight.

Directions for the Main Event

Remove the pork butt from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. This takes about an hour. Place the pork butt into a slow cooker, add the mop, and cook on “high” for 8 hours. The meat will be tender and will easily fall apart. Keep an eye on the pork. As it becomes tender, break it into several smaller pieces. This helps to enhance the flavor.

When done, separate the rest of the pork with two forks. This is the perfect time to remove any pieces of fat that may be present. Move to a serving dish with sides, and spoon the mop over the pulled pork to keep the meat moist. Serve with sandwich buns (not burger buns; too small) and top with a nice North Carolina barbecue sauce (recipe follows).

North Carolina Vinegar-Based Barbecue Sauce

barbecue sauce squeeze bottlesI am definitely not a fan of traditional ketchup-based barbecue sauces. I also do not like the barbecue sauces that you can purchase prepared from the store. I prefer the vinegar-based sauces that you make yourself.

Invest in some barbecue squeeze bottles. They are not difficult to find, and they are not expensive.

Here’s my recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 tbsp Kosher or Sea salt

1 tbsp light brown sugar

1 tbsp Tabasco sauce

1 tbsp Ketchup

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Place all ingredients into a small, non-reactive pan and bring to a boil. Whisk until the salt and brown sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, place into a barbecue squeeze bottle and refrigerate overnight before using.

Cook’s Note: By the way, my homemade baked beans make an ideal side dish for pulled pork sandwiches.

 

 

 

 

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Spicy Thai Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Sriracha Grilled ShrimpThis is an incredible dish, and make no mistake about it…it’s all about the Sriracha.

I never understand recipes that call for you to marinate for two hours or overnight. Forget the whole two hours thing. It’s always overnight unless you’re up against the wall for time.

I suggest you plan properly because overnight marinating makes a huge difference in every single dish I’ve made. There is no comparison.

I don’t know how you feel about it, but when I buy shrimp that has been “cleaned,” they never seem to completely de-vein the shrimp. I always remove the vein even in the front of the shrimp, not just in the back. But hey, it’s up to you.

Ingredients

2 cups coconut milk

1/2 cup fresh Kaffir lime juice (Key limes are fine also)

1 tbsp lime zest

1/4 cup Thai fish sauce

5 tbsp Sriracha sauce (no substitute; it’s easy enough to get)

1 tbsp Tamarind paste

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

1 tbsp pink Himalayan salt

2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

1 tbsp fresh chopped basil

24 jumbo shrimp (peeled and de-veined)

Olive oil for grilling

Bamboo skewers

Directions

In a non-reactive bowl (like glass), mix the first eleven (11) ingredients. Place the shrimp and marinade in a zip-lock bag and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Prior to grilling, soak the bamboo skewers in cold water for at least one hour to prevent them from burning on the grill.

Brush the grill with olive oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking, then heat that baby up. Thread 4 shrimp onto each skewer and put the skewers on the grill. Baste liberally while grilling for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve hot with fresh lime halves.

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Plum Crazy Pork Ribs

If my mother were alive, she’d hit me on the side of the head for saying that grilled pork ribs are like the Second Coming of Christ. She isn’t, so I will indeed make that analogy. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get tired of those smoky ketchup-based barbecue sauces and like to think a bit out of the box. These are incredible ribs, mostly because they aren’t allowed to sit on the grill for longer than 15 minutes. The grill is used to apply the barbecue glaze and brown the ribs. Instead, the ribs are baked in the oven before grilling.

You can buy ribs two ways — as a rack (which you’ll have to cut after grilling) or ribs that are already separated. The last time I made these, I bought the ones already separated. It’s much less aggravating. I’d rather spend my time cooking than presenting food. I’m thinking cookout here, so this recipe is for about six pounds of ribs.

Ingredients for Baking Ribs

6 lbs. Pork Ribs

1-2 small onions, sliced into rings

1-2 lemons, sliced into rings

Sea salt and pepper

Directions for Baking Ribs

Place the ribs in shallow baking pans (I like to line mine with aluminum foil first to minimize cleanup). Cover with sliced onions and lemons. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake covered in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until ribs are tender. (This should not require more than 1 hour and 30 minutes tops.) Remove the ribs and set aside. Simple as that.

Ingredients for Barbecue Glaze

2 cups of plum jam (Trappist makes a great plum jam)

1/4 cup vinegar (red wine, apple cider or malt works)

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 tbsp. dried ground ginger powder

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1 tbsp. chili garlic paste (see the Stock This Stuff page for more info)

Directions for Grilling Ribs

First, put the oil, onion and garlic and chili garlic paste in a microwave safe dish and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for about 3 minutes or until the onions are tender. Stir once or twice during the process. Remove it from the microwave and allow the mixture to cool just a bit.

Once cooled, mix all the ingredients together with a whisk. This makes a great barbecue glaze, a little sweet and a little spicy. I might add that it’s great without the chili garlic paste (if you’re inviting weenies to your barbecue), but I find that the chili garlic paste adds just the right amount of zing.

Fire up your grill and get ready! Cook the ribs for about 10-15 minutes, basting frequently with the glaze and turning them several times until they become golden brown. You can serve the ribs with the rest of the glaze. These are falling-off-the-bone outrageous.

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