Tag Archives: BGE Ribs

Ultimate Ribs


_MG_3691If you’re looking for the Ultimate rib recipe, look no further…ladies and gents here it is. This is a variant on a few different recipes I’ve researched, pulling together what Heather thinks are the BEST ribs ever on the Big Green Asian Egg. So here’s what you’ll need to do!

Let’s start with preparing the rub. Many BBQ cooks keep their rub recipes a secret. That’s just plain silly in my opinion unless of course you’re competing in a competition or running your own restaurant. If you don’t share, the rest of us can’t get better at the craft.

Rub – Stage 1

  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp celery seeds

Take the spices above and toast them in a small dry skillet over medium heat. You’ll know when it’s done when you get this amazing waft of spice filling your kitchen. It takes about 3-4 minutes in all. Remove the spices and let them cool a bit before transferring to a spice grinder.

Rub – Stage 2

Now add the following to the spice grinder and pulverise it to a nice fine grit.

  • 3 tbsp paprika (smoked would be awesome too!)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Grind it all up and set it aside… your ultimate rib rub is now done.

Let’s move to the sauce next. In a large saucepan add the following ingredients:

  • 1 can of high octane Coca-Cola (the regular stuff in the red can)
  • 1 cup Heinz ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrop
  • 2 tbsp ultimate rib rub (yes, the stuff you just made!)

Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer (uncovered) for about 25 minutes. It’ll thicken up before you know it and it’ll go a gorgeous deep reddish brown colour. Let the sauce cool and then transfer it to an airtight jar. The sauce is good for 3 months however I’ve never ever seen enough to last more than a few weeks in this house!

Right, so now you’re done the necessary prep. Let’s get the ribs sorted next.

I purchased two slabs of frozen St Louis cut ribs from the local Singapore equivalent of Costco, The Warehouse Club. They were $9/slab and easily twice the size of the ribs I normally get from our friends at QB. Frozen ribs are fine by the way, though I do like to go to the wet market and occasionally buy fresh chilled pork, but that’s really for special occasions.

Thaw your ribs a few hours ahead of time, rinse them under cold water and then pat them dry on your cutting board. Some people insist on removing the silver skin. I don’t bother as it hardly makes a difference. Take a bit of vegetable oil and coat both sides of the slab. Now take your rub and give both the top and bottom a good liberal coating. Don’t forget to get the sides ensuring you get some rub between the bones. Now take each slab and wrap them tightly in some heavy duty aluminium foil. Try to make an airtight packet so that the juices don’t run out. Now place them in the fridge for a few hours. The longer the better. If you’re pressed for time, that’s ok too but I like to let the meat try and absorb the rub as much as possible.

Set up your grill for indirect heat with a drip pan full of hot water. Even though the ribs are protected in the foil, you want to ensure you’ve got a nice humid environment under the hood. Stabilise your temperature at a medium heat around 325F (163C). Put the ribs on a rack above your water pan, close the lid and let it rip for 2 hours.

Once your timer pings, carefully remove the packets from the grid, set them aside and now fire up the grill to get it as hot as it can. Carefully cut a corner off the packets and drip any of the juices that have remained into a pyrex measuring cup. Unwrap your ribs and get them onto the hot grid. Timing isn’t that critical here so you don’t have to rush. Put the ribs meat-side up and paint them with the sauce you made a few hours earlier. Make sure your sauce isn’t cold, right out of the fridge. I keep it handy at room temperature as I baste any meat. After about two minutes, carefully flip the slabs and paint the bottom side of the ribs. Keep flipping every two minutes or so to get a wonderful caramelisation across the ribs. Crisp them up carefully with the lid open and for the love of God, don’t walk away, the ribs can burn quite easily.

Remove the ribs when they’re nice and crispy and serve the slabs whole. Let your guests take as much or as little as they like. We served the ribs with an amazing ratatouille incorporating roasted red pepper, tomato, onion, garlic, Italian herbs, feta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

If you check out the photos, you’ll clearly see that the family LOVED these ribs. In fact, my darling bride Heather proclaimed quite categorically, these were the BEST ribs we’ve ever had. Naturally, I took a bow and immediately wanted to share this recipe with the world. Let us know how it goes!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10


Char Siew (Ribs) – 叉燒


_MG_0027Once in a while you’ll come across a recipe that will blow your noodle and definitely make your top five list of the most amazing thing you’ve ever eaten. Last Sunday, just such a recipe made our list on the Big Green Asian Egg blog! We were really happy to use our good pal James Watkins as our guinea pig…. thanks Jimmy boy!

Char Siew Ribs, (pronounced Cha-Siew, drop the R sound) is a staple here in the tropical paradise we love to call home, Singapore. I adapted Meathead Goldwyn’s Amazing Ribs recipe to test out the authenticity and flavour profile of one of my favourite foods. I was amazed on both fronts! The great thing is that you can also make these ribs indoors in an oven if you don’t have the ability to grill outside.

In Singapore, you’ll see Char Siew hanging in most hawker stall windows. They tend to use the pork collar instead of ribs. The collars are loaded with fatty tissue that melts when slowly roasted. The flavour is intoxicating and you’ll line up for more! You can get a plate full of this delicious pork with steamed rice and veggies or my favourite, won ton noodles and broth with a healthy dollop of chili sauce. Needless to say, if you’ve ever been through Singapore, this is a dish you’ve got to try. My local hawker centre sells the above mentioned for $3.50 (SGD) or $2.60 (USD), a bargain if you’re on a budget!

So the ingredients list for the marinade goes a bit like this:

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup vodka (or rum or brandy or even red wine)
  • 1/4 cup quality honey
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons powdered ginger
  • 2 tablespoons powdered onion
  • 1 tablespoon powdered garlic
  • 1 tablespoon five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon red food colouring

Mix all of the above in a metal bowl (as you may run the risk of staining a plastic bowl with that red food colouring) and set it aside. Let it sit for about an hour in the fridge and when you’re ready to pour it over the ribs, give it a good whisk!

I used three racks of baby back ribs and cut them into individual ribs. Not something I normally do but for this recipe, you want each rib to be fully coated with that lovely marinade! When ready, place your ribs into a heavy duty zip-top bag, add the marinade and give the bag a good massage, trying to get as much air out of it as possible.  Be mindful not to puncture the bag with the bone ends and so just to be careful, place your bag into a bowl that can catch any of the marinade should it escape. I marinated these ribs for roughly 30 hours, occasionally turning the bag and giving it a bit of a squeeze as and when I was in the fridge.

Like I said, you can do these ribs indoors but since this is a blog about the Big Green Asian Egg, there was no way I was going to use the thing we call an oven. That’s where pavlovas are made!

Set up your grill for 2-zone or indirect cooking, easily achieved with a BGE plate setter. Don’t add any wood chips as you want to minimise the smoke here. Stabilise your temperature at 225F (1017C) and hold it there using an ambient temperature probe. For these ribs, you’ll be cooking to time and not temperature so it’s really important you keep your ambient temperature just right. I also set up a multi-tiered grid that sat over a drip pan full of hot water. The grid was amazing for this set up and highly recommended to produce a high yield of rib goodness!

Place the ribs meat side up and make sure you space them out, not touching each other. Close the dome and set your watch for 2 hours. Once there, have a quick peek, spin the grid to ensure even cooking and have a good look at the ribs. They should look like they’ve got a nice char starting to form and they’ll sweat a bit, showing you how juicy and moist they are. At 2.5 hours, remove the ribs and place them into a big metal bowl. Grab about a 1/3 cup of quality honey, zap it in the nuker for about 30 seconds then coat the ribs. Toss the bowl around, ensuring you’ve coated all the ribs. This provides a wonderful glaze and an eye popping flavour that gives these ribs and almost  bak kwa taste! (Bak Kwa is by far the BEST pork dish ever… dare I say even an improvement on bacon!!!!)

Place the ribs back on the grid and roast them for another 15 minutes or so. These baby back ribs were pretty thin so I adjusted the roasting time from 3 hours in total to 2.45. When finally done, place the sticky ribs back in the big metal bowl, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds (and please do toast them as you’ll release all the wonderful sesame flavour by doing this…just be careful not to burn them as that’s fairly easily done) and finely chopped green onion or chives. Toss the bowl around and get ready to serve.

Our ribs were served with a wonderful soba noodle salad with a sesame and ginger dressing. A bit of Cantonese meets Japanese fusion to be honest. The result was AMAZING!  Thanks Meathead and team at Amazing Ribs for the inspiration!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10


Friends Reunited: SGP “PorkFest” 2013


_MG_6228Many years ago a band of brothers toiled and slaved in Investment Banking IT, arm in arm, day in and day out and  years later, for all respectable reasons , drifted apart as many mates do. Well last night, the brothers, their wives and what seemed like way more kids than was even possible, descended on Roman and Heather’s back garden to participate in a pre-Christmas reunion of sorts. The celebration called for a very special menu: St. Louis cut KC ribs, slow cooked pulled pork and hickory ribeye, complemented by more sides than you could shake a stick at and Heather’s legendary chocolate pavlova!

The ribs were purchased on Saturday morning, the day of the festivities. My buddy Kevin and I went down nice and early to West Coast Market to meet the legendary “Pig Lady”, a purveyor of fine swine from Indonesia. I purchased 6 mammoth racks of ribs and a beautiful pork loin (for the freezer) all in weighing an impressive 6.5 kg.

The prep was pretty standard and easily done. Rinse the ribs under cold water and make sure any and all bone fragments from “Pig Lady’s” knife-wielding are removed. Pat them dry and remove the silver membrane on the bone side. At this point I trimmed the ribs considerably. They’re massive and you can smoke and roast them but it’s tough to do as the thickness of each rack is different and hence the finish time would be as well. So, I trimmed off a lot of meat and saved all of it for slow cooked pulled pork instead. So, back to the ribs.  Apply a coating of vegetable oil and prepare your favourite rib rub, liberally sprinkling both sides of the rib racks, especially between the bones. You want to make sure there’s rub in every bite of rib. Wrap them up in cling film and pop them back in the fridge for about an hour. Now, go set up your grill.

You want to ensure you’ve got a full fire box of charcoal, mixed with about 2 solid handfuls of hickory chips. Set up the grill for indirect cooking and add a water pan that’s about 3/4 full. The resulting humidity mixes with the smoke that adds an almost bacon-like flavour to the ribs when you’re done. Aim to stabilise your internal temperature at 225F (107C) and make sure it stays there. You don’t want to go under 200F or over 250F if you can help it. With a bit of practise, you’ll be able to calibrate your grill to keep it chugging at a low and slow temperature.

I used a two tier rack and rested the ribs meat side up. I shut the dome and let the magic happen. With the larger St Louis cut ribs (not baby back ribs) it took 4.5 hours to get to perfect ribs. Resist the urge to check on your ribs and trust that your grill will do the trick. As they say, “if you’re looking, you’re not cooking!”

So how do you know they’re ready? Well, the ribs will have this incredible dark brown colour. You can take a pair of tongs and do the “bend test.” If the ribs crack under their own weight of the bended side, they’re done! Note that I hadn’t slathered them with any sauce until at the very last few minutes. Once you know they’re done, remove the ribs onto a platter and cover the ribs with one coat (both sides) of your favourite BBQ sauce. I used our family favourite, KC style sweet sauce. Let them sit for a minute or two while you remove your plate setter and get the grill going at a higher temperature, say 450F (232C). Keep the lid open as you place your racks back on to caramelise the sauce. Be careful here as you can easily burn your ribs turning all that time into wasted time. Once your sauce has bubbled up a bit and you see that the ribs have got just a bit of a char, it’s time to pull them off the grid.. I let them rest for a few minutes then cut them into individual pieces, serving immediately.

So what did we do with the off cuts? Remember them? Well, cut them up into even chunks. Grab two onions and slice them thinly, crush 6 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of chicken stock, your rib rub and a bit of BBQ sauce. Lay the onions and garlic on the bottom of your slow cooker. Add the stock, and then the pork pieces that had been covered in vegetable oil and rib rub. Add a final squirt of sauce and put the lid on and crank it to high. 6 hours later, you’ve got delicious, juicy and tender pork pieces. Take each piece and simply pull them apart with two forks. It’s a bit of work but well worth the effort. Add the pulled pork onto a bun and squeeze a good helping of your favourite sauce and there you go, cheater’s pulled pork!

Finally, a pair of grain-fed ribeye steaks were put on the grid at 450F (232C) simply seasoned with Kosher salt, black pepper and olive oil. Insert your internal thermometer probe and slip the steaks every 5 minutes or so, moving them to another part of the hot grill. That’ll get a nice crispy bark going for you. You’ll pull them off at 135F (57C), let them rest for about 5 minutes then slice them thinly at a 45 degree angle to the grain. Drizzle with some quality olive oil and sprinkle just a pinch of Kosher salt. Now serve it all up and watch your guests flip out and experience the ultimate “food-gasm!”

I asked some of the lads to send me a note on what they thought…and in no particular order, this is what my buddies thought:

  • “I was amazed at how the meat remained so juicy and moist! It was some of the most succulent steak I’ve ever had. And the ribs literally fell off the bone!  The pulled pork sandwiches were delicious. My 6 year old ate 2!” – Patrick Huang
  • “The ribs and pork were nothing short of amazing. The meat was moist and tender, complemented by a great homemade BBQ sauce. Almost didn’t have enough space for the awesome lightly hickory smoked steak. Shame there was no takeaway leftovers :)” – Ming Wong
  • “One of the best grills. Yummilicious!” – Francis Ong

And my personal all time favourite quote:

  • “Even my sh@t smells delicious this morning…” – Derrick Goh

Thanks all for making last night such a great time! Merry Christmas to all of you and have a safe and healthy New Year (when it comes!)

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Overall Heather Ratings: Ribs 10/10, Pulled Pork 8/10 (the 24 hour pulled pork is waaaaay better!)


Lazy Pork Ribs


_MG_3728Ever wonder how “BBQ” restaurants can produce ribs at a pace that rivals the speed of light? Well, I think I’ve cracked the code tonight with “Lazy Ribs” brought to you by the Big Green Asian Egg. I took three racks of baby back ribs (that, check this out, cost $6 a rack) and defrosted them in a bath of cool water. I took the ribs out of their plastic wrap, gave them a rinse and then patted them dry. Then I took a bit of vegetable oil and coated both sides of the ribs and liberally coated them with my own rib rub.  I wrapped up the ribs in aluminium foil and put them back into the fridge over night.

These ribs are deemed lazy because I cheated. Yes, I wrapped them in foil and put them in the oven to bake on a baking tray at 325F (162C) for two hours. Once done, carefully unwrap the ribs and save the liquid fat that comes out of each packet into a pyrex measuring cup. Let the ribs cool and then wrap them up again and put them back into the fridge until you’re ready to grill. Now prepare your basting sauce. Take a cube of chicken stock and mix it into about 1.5 cups of boiling water. Add the rib drippings and about 1/2 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce – I used my homemade KC BBQ sauce. Whisk this concoction up and set it aside. You’ll use this to baste your ribs.

Once ready, set up your grill at medium/high temp (about 450F). I put in a fistful of apple wood chunks and let the smoke start up.  Unwrap your ribs and place them down on a well oil grid, meat-side up. baste with the basting sauce immediately. Flip the ribs every 2 minutes and give it a good basting. At the 10 minute mark, you’re done! Pull the ribs off and slice them between the bone. I set them up on a cast iron plate, dusted with bbq rub for extra zing when you get the bottom few ribs.

Keep some sauce on the table and serve up with some corn on the cob and baked potato. Honestly, I know it’s a cheaters’ method, but these were excellent ribs. In fact, Heather thought these were the best yet!

Easy, simple, a bit of a cheat but tasty as you can get. So, the next time you go out and pay $35 for a rack… know that you can do better at home for less than $20 for three full racks! Enjoy, from our grill to yours!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10


Canada Day Maple Ribs (RePosted)


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Reposted from our entry back on July 1, 2011…oh, how time has flown! THIS IS FOR YOU UNCLE GIO!

Koo loo koo koo, koo koo koo koooooo….

Good day eh and welcome to this, the Canada Day blog entry dedicated to every hoser known the world over!

We’ve been invited to our pals Gio & Michelle’s for a Canada Day barbecue and as good neighbours, I offered to bring along a few ribs to share with the occasional caesar and cold brew from back home.

The ribs are a take on the traditional and classic Big Green Asian Egg FFRs (Fred Flintstone Ribs) with a twist! Instead of using honey during the steeping stage, I’ve used good old, 100% Canadian Maple Syrup! The recipe and timing is identical to the FFRs and of course the ribs themselves come from our favorite provider of swine…the Pig Lady!

As a refresher, here are the steps:

Phase 1:

  • Get your ribs to room temperature – we had two racks totaling 2kg
  • Prepare your rib rub and coat each side of the rib slabs as well as in between the ribs (top and bottom)
  • Set your grill at 275 F with the plate setter in place for indirect cooking as well as a drip pan and rib rack.
  • Place the ribs on the rack for 2 hours
    
   Phase 2:
  • Place your ribs into individual aluminium foil packs or use a tin container like I did for both racks.
  • Coat the bottom of the container with brown sugar and then drizzle on a good helping of 100% pure maple syrup.
  • Put your ribs in the container, meat side down and then coast the tops of the ribs with brown sugar and maple syrup.
  • Pour in two cups of Apple cider, for today’s ribs I used 2009 vintage “Merrydown” medium cider (alc 7.5% vol per 750 ml)
  • Lastly, tightly wrap the top of the tin container with aluminium foil and make a steaming pocket for the next 1 hour and 40 minutes
    
  • Lower your temperature to about 200-225 F at this point – no need to kill the ribs with too much heat.
  • Remove your slabs from the container, and place them meat side up on the grid.  Slather your homemade KC sauce on once side of the slab and close the lid for 20 minutes.
  • Flip the ribs and coat the slab and close the lid for another 20 minutes.
  • At this point, the rib meat will be ready to fall off the bone.  Try to keep the racks intact and set them aside wrapped in foil to cool down.
  • When you’re ready to serve…slice them up with a sharp knife and you’re good to go!

    

Phase 4:
  • Head off to your pals’ place and enjoy the ribs!
  • Open a cold beer
  • Toast the Queen and the Prime Minister
Happy Canada Day!
Roman

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

A “New” Rib Recipe


_MG_4784I’m chronically on the hunt for the ultimate pork rib recipe. Whilst trolling the blogosphere on the trusty tinternet this weekend, I came across the famed Dr.BBQ and his recipe for Baby Back Ribs. I figured I’d test it on our friends Dayne and Tammy Cowan and well, if it all went wrong, there was always pizza that could have been delivered!

It wasn’t all bad in the end but I’d certainly adjust the directions to get a slightly different result. In our case, everyone around the dinner table was thrilled with the final product, except me. I thought the timing was too long for the first and second phases and I practically omitted the last phase as the ribs were more than done! Following Dr BBQ’s method resulted in the ultimate in “fall off the bone” ribs and that’s undeniable, but there was no pretty plating of the ribs and well, it ended up a being a delicious wad of pork and bones all thrown onto a serving plate for all of us to tuck into.

Perhaps I’m being overly critical but I kind of like ribs with a bit of bite required and it’s got to look nice too. Would I recommend this recipe? For sure! The rub and the glaze are excellent. The timing, if adjusted, should result in a fantastic rib result!

So here’s what you’ll need to prepare. First the rub:

  • 1/4 cup corse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Combine all the spices above and then whiz it through a spice grinder or coffee bean grinder. You want to get the rub nice and fine. This also makes enough for at least 6-8 big racks. Whatever I don’t use I simply put it into a zip top bag and keep it in the fridge. Lasts for ages!

To rub your ribs, simply slather each of your racks with vegetable oil and then dust the rub over both sides of the rack and in between the bones on the sides. Don’t miss that sweet spot with the rub. Wrap your ribs in cling film and place them back in the fridge for a few about 2.5 hours. When your grill/smoker is up to temperature, take out the ribs, unwrap them and put them into your trusty rib rack.

The glaze is next, and when done it’s delicious. Highly recommend trying this glaze.

  • 1 cup ketchup (which is pretty much one standard size glass bottle of Heinz ketchup)
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 cup honey

Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized saucepan and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Let it cool down uncovered and you’ll see how it thickens up beautifully.

Here’s the way I’d do it (again) knowing now what I know.

Preheat your smoker/grill or BGE to 275 dome temperature, set up for indirect cooking. Add a drip pan full of water and then throw in two handfulls of cherry wood chips. Put your ribs into a rib rack and place them over your drip pan. At this temperature, set your timer for 2 hours. The original recipe called for 3 hours…  Place them into an aluminium tray and coat them in honey then fill the tray with about 3 cups of apple juice. Make sure you’ve got enough juice in there so it doesn’t evaporate. Tightly close the tray with two sheets of heavy duty aluminium foil. Then plonk it on the grill at the same temperature for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Carefully open the foil tray, it will be steamy and hot after an hour on the grill. Take your ribs out with equal care as they’ll be really close to done at this point. Carefully remove your plater setter and go for the direct cooking method. Place the ribs on the grid directly, meat side up and baste them with the glaze you made earlier. Close the dome for no more than 5 minutes, flip and then take them off after another 2 minutes. Put your ribs on a platter and cover them in foil. Rest them for about 10 minutes, set up the table and now WOW your guests.

We served these ribs with a great new slaw recipe along with baked potatoes and an Apple Cake Tatin that was DELICIOUS! (Thanks Heather!!!)

Like I said, I would have preferred to do the method above but all was not lost. Everyone loved the ribs and I was inspired to try this again in a few months time. Highly recommend the rub and the glaze and I’m looking forward to using the leftovers on chicken and chops!

PS – Check out the “Pork Lady” wield the knife to the pork side – no saw, just a 200 year old blade and lots of muscle. I also took the full loin she gingerly removed, slicing it into 4 small roasts and popped them into the freezer. Thanks “Pork Lady!!!”

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Overall Heather Rating 9/10


Romano’s Toscano costine di maiale


Hey there faithful fans of the BGAE blog… It’s been a while no doubt but fear not…I’ve got a new recipe for you that will surely please the pallet! Last Saturday’s experiment tested the way we normally do ribs on the Egg and I must say, I was really pleased with the result. What did we try? Tuscan style back ribs from our favourite pork supplier….The Pig Lady!

A couple of differences this time included further trimming down the monster sized ribs PL gives us. Take the time to trim down your ribs to ensure an even cook and uniform ribs once cut. We made stir fry the night before with all the trimmings so nothing went to waste.

The second change was to try our regular rib rub on a mustard slathered rack. So in the end we actually went for two distinctly different racks of ribs: Romans Classic Ribs and Tuscan style.

For the Tuscan style ribs this is what you’ll need:

  • 1 slab of your favorite ribs
  • 1 head of garlic (already roasted with quality olive oil and Kosher salt.
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup pitted kamalata olives, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all of the above and place your slab of ribs into a large zip top bag. Pour in your marinade and plonk it into the fridge for up to 8 hours. Make sure you squish the bag once in a while to ensure an even coating.

In the meantime, get the grill ready by setting it up for indirect heat, no wood chips, and stabilised at 225 degrees F.That’s really low in case you were wondering. The result will not disappoint…have faith in your grill and be prepared to invest at least 3 hours of your day to produce the best end result!

So, grill is now stable, no smoke, ribs at room temperature, it’s time! I put in a roasting tin with some beef broth under my rib rack. Not sure how much this step adds in terms of flavour or moisture but it didn’t hurt at all. I then set my timer to ping every 30 minutes and at every half hour mark thereafter I basted the Tuscan ribs with the remaining marinade. I did this 5 times and stopped with the last 30 minutes without a final basting. This ensures that you’re not cross contaminating your pork with nasty little germs.

At three hours in, I did the “bend test” on both racks. Basically you pick up one side of a given rack and let gravity pull on the opposite side. When you start to see a crack or if the slab breaks at the bend point…you’re all sorted. Wrap them up in some foil and let them rest for a good 15 minutes.

Once rested, cut each rib down the mid point and arrange them on a serving plate. For the classic ribs, serve up some homemade BBQ sauce on the side…for the Tuscan ribs, naked is the only way to fully appreciate the complexity of flavours.

In all a total success! Thanks to the Clements clan for agreeing to be our test case (and for peeing on the couch) and a special thanks to Heather for inspiring me to try something completely new!

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Overall Heather Rating: 9/10

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Tuscan vs Tusken…you decide!


The King’s Ribs: Memphis Style


Though born in Tupelo, Mississippi, the King moved to Memphis Tennessee with his family at the age of 13… Is this important?  Not in the least, however it does set the theme for today’s grilling episode…Elvis and all things Memphis! I’ve got a rib recipe for you that will make you curl your lip, shake your hips and say thank you, thank you very much!

As with all ribs, make sure you buy quality cuts.  Normally I’ll venture out to the West Coast market to pick up my pork from none other than the “pork lady” however today I wanted to go with quality baby back ribs and for that, I ventured up to see Pete and Jack at, you guessed it, the Butcher.

Now tonight’s dinner was tested by my pal Brett, the guy who usually tests our BBQ results.  Heather’s away so why not kick back with a buddy, have a few beers and slow cook some ribs!

Step one: The prep & rub using “Meathead’s Memphis Dust”

  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary powder

Mix it all up in a metal bowl and make sure you break up any chunks be it sugar, onion powder or anything else that may have formed into a tough clump.  This rub as it is yields about 3 cups worth of magic.  When you’re coating your ribs, you’ll only need about two tablespoons per side so you will have plenty left over to use again or to share.

When you’re ready to rub your ribs, make sure they’re prepped (ie have the silver skin removed and your ribs rinsed.) Apply a small bit of vegetable oil on each side of each slab as this will help with the rub absorption given the spice flavours are oil soluble as opposed to water soluble. Make sure you get an even coating and rub it in well.  I then wrap my ribs up in cling film and chuck them in the fridge for a few hours.  You can leave the rub on over night but a few hours will do for these ribs!

     
Step two: Gettin’ your grill on!

  • Set up your grill for indirect heat – no direct flame, just the heat from the coals!
  • Settle the temperature down to 225°F or 105°C
  • Add in your hardwood chunks; tonight I used mesquite chunks along with our quality hard wood charcoal
  • Get your v-rack ready on top of your drip pan set on top of the platesetter if you’re using a BGE
As Meathead puts it: “Cooking at 225°F will allow the meat to roast low and slow, liquefying the collagen in connective tissues and melting fats without getting the proteins knotted in a bunch. It’s a magic temp that creates silky texture, adds moisture, and keeps the meat tender.” I love the pure science behind this!

Step three: Have a few cold bevies and chill.  No peeking under the hood either!  Let the grill/smoker do it’s magic!

Step four: The Texas Crutch

A great way to ensure a moist and tender rib experience.  You’ll simply take the ribs off after 2.5 hours (for babybacks) and wrap them in aluminium foil with a splash (1/2 cup) of apple juice inside – or if your ribs fit, chuck them into an aluminium tin container and steep them together.  This method is called “boating” and is a lot easier and less of a faff. Crutch for no more than 30 minutes then return the ribs to the grill to crisp them up.

Step five: The Tennessee Whiskey Sauce (needs about 45 minutes prep time)

  • 2 cups Jack Daniel’s
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

Reduce one cup of whiskey in a saucepan by bringing it to a boil – careful not to flame the booze as you’re cooking!  Reduce the Jack to about 2 tablespoons’ worth. Add the rest of the ingredients now along with another half cup of Jack. Simmer this over a low heat for about 30 minutes – the sauce should reduce by about a third.  Once done you can slather up the ribs right away or put your new creation in a clean ketchup bottle to store for a few of weeks in the fridge.  So what do you do with the last half cup of Jack you ask?  SHOTS!

     

OK so now you’re ready.  The crutch is done and now place your ribs on the grid for another 10 minutes, five on each side.  Slather them up with your homemade Tennessee Whiskey Sauce and get them onto a plate to rest for about 5-10 minutes.  Serve them ribs up with some potato salad, courtesy of Mr. Brett Queen and voila…a perfect Sunday night dinner.

Overall Brett Rating (in Heather’s place): 8.5/10

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Canada Day Maple Ribs


Koo loo koo koo, koo koo koo koooooo….

Good day eh and welcome to this, the Canada Day blog entry dedicated to every hoser known the world over!

We’ve been invited to our pals Gio & Michelle’s for a Canada Day barbecue and as good neighbours, I offered to bring along a few ribs to share with the occasional caesar and cold brew from back home.

The ribs are a take on the traditional and classic Big Green Asian Egg FFRs (Fred Flintstone Ribs) with a twist! Instead of using honey during the steeping stage, I’ve used good old, 100% Canadian Maple Syrup! The recipe and timing is identical to the FFRs and of course the ribs themselves come from our favorite provider of swine…the Pig Lady!

As a refresher, here are the steps:

Phase 1:

  • Get your ribs to room temperature – we had two racks totaling 2kg
  • Prepare your rib rub and coat each side of the rib slabs as well as in between the ribs (top and bottom)
  • Set your grill at 275 F with the plate setter in place for indirect cooking as well as a drip pan and rib rack.
  • Place the ribs on the rack for 2 hour
    
   Phase 2:
  • Place your ribs into individual aluminium foil packs or use a tin container like I did for both racks.
  • Coat the bottom of the container with brown sugar and then drizzle on a good helping of 100% pure maple syrup.
  • Put your ribs in the container, meat side down and then coast the tops of the ribs with brown sugar and maple syrup.
  • Pour in two cups of Apple cider, for today’s ribs I used 2009 vintage “Merrydown” medium cider (alc 7.5% vol per 750 ml)
  • Lastly, tightly wrap the top of the tin container with aluminium foil and make a steaming pocket for the next 1 hour and 40 minutes
    
  • Lower your temperature to about 200-225 F at this point – no need to kill the ribs with too much heat.
  • Remove your slabs from the container, and place them meat side up on the grid.  Slather your homemade KC sauce on once side of the slab and close the lid for 20 minutes.
  • Flip the ribs and coat the slab and close the lid for another 20 minutes.
  • At this point, the rib meat will be ready to fall off the bone.  Try to keep the racks intact and set them aside wrapped in foil to cool down.
  • When you’re ready to serve…slice them up with a sharp knife and you’re good to go!

    

Phase 4:
  • Head off to your pals’ place and enjoy the ribs!
  • Open a cold beer
  • Toast the Queen and the Prime Minister
Happy Canada Day!
Roman

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

Father’s Day Chinese Spare Ribs


Hello folks and of  course all of you Big Green Asian Egg-heads – for those of you who celebrated Father’s Day last Sunday…happy, happy to you all!  On this side of the planet the kids (Alex & Kalyna) surprised me with a wonderful little gift that did not include ties or socks (I suppose Christmas will be here soon enough!) No, from the offspring I received a little book called “The Great Ribs Book” by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison. Nice, even the kids know what dad really wants!

So after reading the very basic introductions and sections on rib types and techniques I had to dive in to the first recipe in the “Show Stopping Asian Ribs” section, “Best Chinese Baby Back Ribs.” If anything I would rate this book purely on the different recipes and sauces contained within – the techniques section is far too basic and very very very generic – my suggestion is go with your intuition when grilling these recipes and don’t be afraid to combine styles and past experience.  Anyway, I wanted to try out the first recipe out of principle (being the first in the book) and because the outcome sounded really good.

I got up early on Father’s Day and took my son Alex down to visit the “pig lady” at West Coast Market.  We managed to secure the last two racks she had available, what luck! We came home and started the 6 hour marinade.  I personally like the dry rub technique but I must admit, the marinade was good though I have a few new ideas based on this experience…more to come on that later.

Instructions are as follows:

Marinade & Sauce:

  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup plum sauce
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbs Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tbs dark sesame oil
  • 1 tbs Chili sauce
  • 1/2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced old ginger
  • 1/4 cup minced green onion

Combine all the ingredients and that’s it!  This yields approximately 3 cups when completed. Add the ribs to a glass dish and coat every square inch of the ribs with this yummy sauce! I left the ribs in the fridge for just over 6 hours and then onto the grill.

For the grilling I employed a mixed technique and if anyone can tell me how to improve on it, please do let me know…leave a comment!

I fired up the BGE and stabilized the temperature at 325 F. I used the platesetter with the legs up and then added a drip pan full of water to see if that would provide enough steam for juicier ribs.  I can’t say they were dry but I would like to try steeping them next time in aluminium foil packets like I do for the Fred Flintstone ribs.  Anyway, I placed the ribs onto my trusty rib rack and let the magic begin.  The book suggests a 90 minute cook time for spare ribs and as “pig lady” cuts us some huge ribs, I took the 90 minute route in hopes of cooking all the way through. I always get nervous with timings like 90 minutes for ribs given that my other rib recipe takes 6 hours to complete…anyway, this recipe certainly does not take the low and slow approach!

After all was said and done I removed the ribs and covered them in aluminium foil for another 10 minutes and the result?  Juicy ribs with an incredible sauce.  Heather was right to point out that these ribs were not “fall off the bone” at all and the really thick parts could have been more tender which is why I want to steep them next time around.

The real winner of course was the marinade and sauce (always keep some sauce aside before you cover your raw ribs!!!)

Thanks kids for a memorable Father’s Day and a brand new rib recipe! Love you both…Dad

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