Memorial Day 2010
Memorial Day is a day to remember, honor and thank the past and present members of our armed services. These men and women sacrifice many things in order to protect our country and our rights. So, first of all I would like to say thank you to all those who have served.
But, we all know that Memorial Day is also the unofficial beginning of summer; a time for backyard barbeques and get-togethers with family and friends. Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to break out those delicious barbeque recipes. Some families roast a pig, others might do chicken, while others stick with the tried and true burgers and hotdogs. Chris and I like to break out the ribs for a good day long barbeque.
A few years ago I bought a cookbook called “How to Cook Meat” written by Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby. I loaned the cookbook to my brother, who as I have mentioned before, is a good cook in his own right. My brother was the first to prepare this barbeque beef rib recipe, and it was such a hit, that I have made it two or three more times since. Now that may not seem like a ringing endorsement, but as you will see, the recipe is a little bit time intensive. Most of that time is unsupervised, but still, you have to do a bit of planning to make these ribs.
The rib recipe is called: Flintstones-Style BBQ Beef Ribs with Hot, Sweet, and Sour Bone Sauce. YUMMY!
Now, a couple of things I will mention before I get into all the details. First, as I said, this recipe is a bit time intensive. The ribs cook for about 5 hours in the oven on a low heat setting. While you don’t need to watch them every minute, you probably do want to plan on sticking around the house for most of that time. Second, the recipe calls for generous amounts of spices. It is a good idea to plan ahead a little bit with this recipe. If you want to make it this weekend, review the recipe and really look at how much spice is left in your jar of ground cumin. You may need to add something to your shopping list besides beef ribs.
First, the recipe, and then some thoughts.
For the Rub:
¼ Cup freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
5 -6 lbs of beef back ribs (about 2 racks)
For the Sauce:
1/3 Cup molasses
1 Cup ketchup
¼ Cup balsamic vinegar
¼ Cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
½ Cup orange juice
¼ Cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 Tablespoons minced fresh chile peppers of your choice (or to taste-these do have some kick!)
½ Cup thinly sliced scallions
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
So that is the basic recipe. Here is what you do:
Take the rub ingredients and mix them together in a bowl. They should look something like this:
Next take the rub and “rub” it all over the beef ribs. This makes a big mess, with bits of the rub getting everywhere. Just be prepared for it. Make sure to rub the spice mix all over all sides of the ribs and kind of pat it/pack it on there so they get well covered. Like this:
Next stick them on a foil lined baking sheet or broiler pan and put them into a preheated 200 degree oven. Leave them there for 5 hours. This is what is called “low and slow” cooking. Low temperature for a long period of time.
About an hour before the ribs are ready to come out of the oven start working on your sauce ingredients. Peel and mince the ginger, mince the chile peppers, slice the scallions and add those with the remaining sauce ingredients to a saucepan.
Somewhere during this last hour, depending on the type of grill you have, get your briquettes going, or start heating up your gas grill. You want it to be nice and hot.
While the grill is heating up, begin to simmer the sauce ingredients over low heat for about 15 minutes or so, until it starts to thicken.
(My sauce never really “thickened” but it was still good and useable). Once it has thickened, remove from heat and keep warm until ready to use on the grill.
At the 5 hour mark, pull the ribs from the oven and slice them into individual ribs. Put these on your hot grill and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until they are nice and brown.
Baste each side with a portion of the sauce, cooking on the grill for about a minute or so more, until they look nice and glazed.
You should end up with something like this:
Now, before you rush off to cook these, I will give you the recipe for the coleslaw I made to go with them. This is another Cooking Light adaptation.
Coleslaw with Mustard Dressing
1 package premade coleslaw, no dressing
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons brown style mustard
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Now this is how I made it this time. The actual recipe calls for ¼ Cup of white wine vinegar and 2 Tablespoons of sugar. The first time I made this it was quite bitter, so I reduced the vinegar to 2 Tablespoons. That helped a lot. I did not use the sugar either time, but I do feel like the dressing could benefit from a little sweetness to round out the flavor, so next time I will add some sugar, but probably only 1 Tablespoon, if even that much.
Mix the vinegar, mayo, mustard, cayenne, salt and black pepper together in a small bowl. Add the premade coleslaw to a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Make this early in the day and stick in the fridge allowing the flavors to blend and mature. Toss again prior to serving.
I also added corn on the cob to our dinner, which is just boil water, add husked corn and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain and serve.
Our delicious Memorial Day barbeque dinner looked like this:
Afterward, Chris looked like this:
His plate looked like this:
These ribs are delicious, with a hint of sweet and a kick of spice. They definitely are a messy food to eat, so be prepared, dig in and enjoy!
Some additional thoughts: We made a half rack of pork ribs at the same time. If I did that again I would cut the amount of kosher salt in the rub by at least half for the pork ribs. They were pretty salty. Also, these ribs could be cooked "low and slow" on a smoker or on an outdoor gas or charcoal barbeque, but would require MUCH more supervision as the temperature would need to be maintained at 200 degrees for the five hour cooking time. I imagine cooking them for the full five hours outdoors would add yet another layer of depth to the flavor.
While these are a bit time intensive, they are very tasty, and even heat up well the next day for leftovers. They are not a terribly unhealthy option as long as you limit your portions. Serving the lighter sides of coleslaw and fresh corn on the cob also helps minimize your calorie consumption. By avoiding the heavier side dishes typical of barbeque, like potato or pasta salad or baked beans, you can still enjoy this dinner, even if you are trying to watch your diet. Remember, it's a celebration! That doesn't mean go hog wild, it means enjoy the moment, enjoy the food, but be reasonable!
This dinner goes great with a nice cold beverage to wash down the spicy kick of the sauce.
Enjoy! If you try these out, let me know what you think!