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Monday, May 21, 2012

Check out my rack!

Continuing on with my BBQ theme for the summer, I though I would give you some tips on how to save your some money on some of my favorite eats! Ribs!!!
I continue to see people go to these national BBQ chains and pay as much as $20-$30 for a rack of ribs when you can head on over to your meat purveyor or butcher or even your local grocery story and buy a full rack of pork spare ribs at a fraction of the cost. Now I know, you are probably saying "Chef Dave, I don't have to cook them or prepare them, or I don't even know how to cook them!" well, if you have read my blog before, you know that I am trying to get you out there cooking quality food for your family with quality products for the betterment of your health and wallet, and get you and your family to have a great time doing it. Build yourself some memories by creating a family food culture and you will inexplicably change the palates and hearts of your family for generations.
Now lets talk about these precooked, vacu-packed ribs you are paying out of the wazoo for…First most of these ribs are prepared with a solution or a curing brine full of nasty things that make you think you are are eating the most juiciest ribs you have ever had. These preservatives are not even close to the fat rendered low and slow cooked BBQ ribs that burst with REAL and natural flavor of the pork and smoke and spices. We all are coming to think that good cooking is fast cooking, that a rib sandwich made of quasi-meat and who knows what else from that clown infested drive through is what BBQ should taste like, and my friend it is a sad day when we pass this ignorance to our children. we can do better for them and for us. Let me get off my soap box and get to the real thing.
Pork spare ribs come in a variety of ways at your local meat purveyor. Thanks to a great song and a horrible product in my opinion that establishment that sells "chili", everybody is hog wild over baby back ribs, but IMHO there is more meat for your money with a pork spare rib rack. The spare ribs can come as such or labeled as "St. Louis" Style. St. Louis style is a cleaned up, tip trimmed, fat trimmed version of pork spare rib racks. It is a bit more labor intensive for the butcher and in turn costs a ton more for the same cut of meat. With a little know how and a sharp knife you can have your self a st Louis style rib or if your like me and love those rib tips  keep them on there along with the fat that will render during the cooking process and make those ribs fall off the bone juicy. If you would like to make this style rib rack, hit me up in the comment section for more details on how to complete this task.
When you have your ribs in front of you washed and patted dry, you will find that there is a thick skin like membrane on the back side of the ribs. this membrane will shrink up and turn to inedible leather if left on and prevents any rubs and spices to permeate the meat. It will have to be removed. The easiest way to do this is, take a dull blunt object like the handle end of a metal table spoon and insert it between the membrane and the rib meat on one of the last ribs in the rack. gently pull up until you can take a paper towel and grip it with your hand, and slowly peel it away, until all of the membrane is removed.
Now that your ribs are ready for some flavor, here is where you differentiate what region or style you would like to have your ribs. If you are a Texas style BBQer, you are gonna go for salt and pepper only, smoked slowly over mesquite wood. if you are a st. Louis style you are gonna rub and sauce over maple or apple, if you are a Kansas City style you are gonna dry rub and mop and indirect smoke low and slow over Hickory. a simple dry rub you can make at home in bulk that works well with both chicken and pork is as follows:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
Smoke your ribs at *225F-*260F from 3-6 hours making sure they reach a temperature of *145F
Once they have reached this temp, take them off the grill and use what we call in the business as the "Texas cheat", by placing them in aluminum foil and pouring a couple of ounces of apple juice or water and then wrapping them tightly for an additional hour. This will provide the moisture and the juiciness of braising to your ribs.  or you can return to the grill after saucing with your favorite sauce to caramelize the sugars in the sauce. watch carefully as not to allow them to burn. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes once off the grill and cut between ribs to serve. Mix it up and try Teriyaki rib with Japanese spices or even Mexican spice rubs with a mango salsa. Serve with your favorite sides. Don't forget if you need ideas or have questions don't forget to ask in the comments below. And also don't forget to…

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