Tag Archives: Pork Ribs

3-2-1 Competition Worthy Pork Ribs


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Hi folks. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve sat down to enter a blog entry. I must admit, it’s just easier to post on FaceBook but then, we’re not all friends on FaceBook are we?

I’ve picked a few recipes to share just for fun. The first of which are these fine St. Louis style competition worth pork ribs.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A pair of St. Louis style pork rib racks (we get ours at The Warehouse Club in Jurong for less than $10/rack!)
  • A bit of regular yellow mustard
  • “Memphis Dust” rib rub
    • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup paprika
    • 1/4 cup garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
    • 2 tablespoons onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons rosemary powder
  • A few knobs of unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • A tiny splash of apple juice
  • A good slathering of Competition Red Sauce (a la Big Bob Gibson’s recipe):
    • 1 1/4 cups (12.5 oz/355 g) ketchup
    • 1 cup water (8 oz/235 g) water
    • 3/4 cup (6 oz/170 g) vinegar
    • 3/4 cup (6 oz/170 g) tomato paste
    • 3/4 cup (4.5 oz/135 g) brown sugar
    • 2/3 cup (7.75 oz/220 g) corn syrup
    • 1/2 cup (4 oz/ 170 g) pure maple syrup
    • 4 tbsps (1.5 oz/100 g) honey
    • 3 tbsps (2.25 oz/60 g) molasses
    • 4 tsps (25 g) salt
    • 4 tsps (.75 oz/20 g) Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tbsp (.75 oz/25 g) applesauce
    • 1 1/2 tsps (.25 oz/8 g) soy sauce
    • 1 1/2 tsps (.25 oz/5 g) liquid smoke
    • 1 tsp (4 g) onion powder
    • 3/4 tsp (2 g) cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp (1 g) dried mustard powder
    • 1/2 tsp (1 g) cayenne powder
    • 1/2 tsp (1 g) black pepper
    • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/8 tsp white pepper
    • 1/8 tsp celery seed
    • 1/8 tsp ground cumin

Prep is really simple. Wash off your ribs and pat them dry with some kitchen roll. Remove the membrane on the bone side of the ribs by prying it loose then tearing it off using a bit of kitchen roll. It really helps with the grip.

Then slather a bit of mustard on both sides of the rib racks. Some people omit this step, others swear by it. Me, I’m easy either way. The mustard, being a water-based product simply lets the rub adhere to the rack a bit better. Water works just as well to be honest as you’ll really not taste the mustard once you’re done.

Next you’ll coat your ribs liberally (like a Bernie Sanders) making sure that you’ve covered every centimetre. That will help with the bark and ensure that no matter where you bite down on that rib, you’ll get a good helping of the rub/crust.

Set up your smoker/grill for indirect heat and stabilise it at 225F (107C). Add in some wood chunks to get the smoke going. For this cook I used Beech wood. Nice and delicate.

Once you get that blue stream of smoke going, it’s time to put the ribs on. I placed a drip pan full of hot water under the ribs (and on top of the plate setter) to add some additional humidity inside the Big Green Egg. Living in Singapore, you really don’t need that.

Place your ribs down meat side up and set your timer for 3 hours. Go grab a beer, read a book, mow the lawn. You’ve got time.

When your timer pings, take the ribs back into the kitchen. Grab some heavy duty aluminium foil large enough to tightly wrap the ribs. Before you place the ribs down, sprinkle a healthy amount of brown sugar. Add three knobs of butter and a bit of honey drizzled. Place the ribs down, meat side down. Sprinkle some brown sugar, add some butter and honey onto the bone side. Now make a packet, add a splash of apple juice and crimp it all so that you’ve made an airtight seal. If the bones tear through, just use another piece of  foil.

Back onto the grill, meat side down for another 90 minutes to 2 hours. I took mine off a bit early because I didn’t want them to fall right off the bone. Now, add a bit more rub and slather with a good coat of Red Sauce. Place it back onto the grill for another 30 -60 minutes. Again, I did 30 as I didn’t want ribs over done. With practice, you’ll get the hang of the timing.

The last step is to get some flame going and char up the meat side of the ribs. I use Grill Grates and swear by them. Get the grid nice and hot and sear the ribs until you get some nice caramelisation happening.

Once ready, pull off the ribs and let them rest for at least 10 minutes. Then cut between the bones and serve.

My family loves this recipe and as I’m writing this, I’ve got two racks on the go just now.

Enjoy!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

 

 

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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

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

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

Birthday Ribs for Cynthia!


Good day rib fans!  Well I finally decided it was time to try a new rib recipe – the Fred Flintstone ribs work really, really well and I’ve had nothing but compliments with them but in true Roman-esq fashion, the quest for perfect pork ribs continues.  Last Sunday we hosted Cynthia and Lucy (our regular guests) to an impromptu BBQ, only to find out it was Cynthia’s 26th birthday!  Happy Birthday darling!

Anyway, I digress.  I purchased two slabs of baby back ribs from Hubers over the weekend and I used this method as explained by none other than “Dr.BBQ” and here’s how it goes:

Dr. BBQ’s famous baby back ribs recipe

  • 2 slabs baby back ribs, membrane on back of ribs removed
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups of Dr. BBQ’s Sweet and Sticky Glaze (see below)
  • Dr. BBQ’s rub (see below)

Prepare your cooker for indirect grilling at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, using cherry and hickory wood for flavor – (we used mesquite chunks – about 4 in total). Season the ribs with the rub. Put the ribs into the smoker, meaty site up for two hours. (this was about an hour too long for my ribs – learning point for next time – NEVER USE ANY OTHER RIBS THAN THOSE OF OUR FRIEND THE PIG LADY…Huber’s ribs are good but way too skinny!) Flip the ribs and cook another hour. Remove the ribs to a platter. (Again, use your gut feel here and you’ll be able to tell when the first stage is done!)

Take a double-thick piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil (big enough to wrap a slab of ribs), and slather about 1/3 cup of honey on each sheet, spreading it where the ribs will lie. Place the ribs meaty side down and add more honey on top of the slab. Now crimp the edges of the foil and pour 1/2 cup of apple juice in the bottom. Do this for all three slabs. Loosely close the packets around the ribs and lay them back in the cooker.

Cook another 90 minutes. Carefully unwrap the packets and take out the ribs. Place the ribs back on the cooker, raising the temperature to 350 degrees. Brush with the glaze or barbecue sauce and flip several times for another 20 minutes.

Dr. BBQ’s rub (combine) NOW THIS WAS YUMMY!!!

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon 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

Dr. BBQ’s Sweet and Sticky Glaze
This is what Dr. BBQ always uses to finish his ribs and chicken at BBQ cookoffs around his country.

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon 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 (Optional)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, stir well, and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce and thicken – a great sauce indeed!

All in all I would say the ribs turned out about a 5/10 to be honest and as anyone knows, you’ve got to try these things a few times before you get the hang of it.  Thanks to Dr.BBQ for the sauce and rub recipes – those I’ll use again combined with Pig Lady’s spare ribs and a slightly different timing method…) The ribs were sticky and gooey however I managed to dry them out completely.  Edible? Yes, would I pay for them in a restaurant?  Probably.  Would I make the same mistakes again?  No way!

So there you are, not a perfect result but good enough to share and prompt myself and others to try this again.

Happy eating and Happy Birthday Cynthia!

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PS – we then had a “Pimp my Peeps” contest for dessert – I liked Alex’s funeral theme (only a 13 year old would come up with something that morbid!)

In order or appearance:

  1. Peeps watching TV by Lucy
  2. Decapitating Kozak by Roman
  3. “See no Evil, Speak no Evil, Hear no Evil” by Cynthia
  4. A Peeps Funeral by Alex
  5. The Navy Seals raid on OBL Peep by Heather (really not sure where this one came from?!?!?)