Wednesday, April 15, 2009

missing the BBQ

This summer, I think I'd like to take some time to make some tasty grilled meals. Maybe I am craving all of those indulgent Argentinean meats! Honestly, I still find big slabs of meat to be a bit daunting, but I can't think of a better way to overcome my hesitation than with ribs.

I can't think of anything more summery than a big slab of barbequed ribs! Sweet, tangy, and messy enough to require a hose-off afterwards, they remind me of balmy Michigan summer nights.

Last year, my man got inspired by Alton Brown to make some ribs. He isn't usually much of a cook, but he is ambitious and when he gets an idea in his head, he goes full-speed ahead until it comes into fruition. He picked out a nice slab of ribs from the supermarket butcher and stocked up on spices and sauces and made something similar to this recipe:

2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs
Dry Rub:
8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Braising Liquid:
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.

I was quite proud of him for his ambitious project, until I asked him how he planned to cook the feast. Alton's recipe suggests baking and braising the ribs for several hours, which I couldn't really see him doing. "Well," he said, "I figured I'd stick them on my George Foreman grill. I think we still have one under the sink, right?"

Oh no! We have made some sacrifices in choosing urban loft-living, but does grilling have to come to that? Shortly after that, we invested in a stovetop cast iron grill pan. Still a compromise, of course, but I think it will make us some satisfying summer meals.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you can prep some ribs and bring them over the hill and we can go shootin' and then do some grillin'. Seriously. Any Sunday.