Kansas City Spareribs
I dont know about you but my favorite summer dish is a juice, spicy, and sticky rack of smoked ribs. This recipe is from SAVEUR magazine and I have been making it for years. I made them last Sunday and as always I did not make enough. Contrary to comments included in the recipe, I have adapted the technique to use on my gaz BBQ with great result. You just need to be attentive to watch carefully for sign of overcooking.I found inderect heat works best. To be succesful it is important to have a good grill, one with a good heat control.
SERVES 4– 6
Spareribs, which come from the belly of the pig, do not have as much meat as baby back ribs. They are, however, full of gristle and fat. This makes them juicier and, many people argue, gives them more pork flavor.
· 2 slabs skinned spareribs
· 3–4 lbs. each 1 2 cup Paul Kirk's Dry Rub ( see below)
· Prepare grill, using Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Turning out Perfect Barbecue (see below). Use a combination of oak, hickory, and apple for the wood chips, and use indirect heat to cook the meat.
· Light coals and cover grill. Grill is ready when temperature reaches 230°–250°.
· Blot ribs with paper towels, and then sprinkle both sides with dry rub. Arrange slabs on grill rack (I prefer indirect heat), over drip pan and away from coals.
· Cover grill and cook 3 to 4 hours, adding more coals and wood as needed. Midway through cooking, turn ribs. Make sure you check the ribs regularly; it is very easy to go from perfect ribs to over-cook. Ribs are done when you can gently pull them apart with your gloved hands. When they are done, brush BBQ sauce on both side, let rest over heat for a couple of minutes and then transfer slabs to a board for cutting. Serve with more Kansas City Barbecue Sauce , if you like (see below).
Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Turning Out Perfect Barbecue
THE COOKER: Serious barbecuers have no problem plunking down big bucks for state-of-the-art rigs, but for beginners, advises chef and barbecuer extraordinaire Paul Kirk, "The best cooker is any one you can learn to control." That means any dry smoker (a horizontal unit with a firebox at one end, and a chimney at the other), water smoker (vertical, with room for a water pan), or even a simple grill—like the standard Weber kettle. Purists don't like gas grills for low-and-slow cooking, but say they're fine for small ribs and chicken. If you use one, you'll need a special box (or an old cast iron skillet) for wood chips.( I use aluminum foil and it works fine. Make sure you cut big enough hole for air and smoke to circulate).
THE CHARCOAL: Use only all-natural briquettes or lump charcoal. Briquettes are best for steady heat. Lump charcoal lights more easily, but because it burns hotter, it must be watched more closely. For the standard kettle grill, plan on starting with 25–30 briquettes or several big handfuls of lump charcoal. These will burn for about fifty minutes; more hot coals (about ten briquettes) must be added every hour to maintain the temperature.
THE SMOKE: "Don't worry about getting enough smoke," counsels Kirk. "Worry about getting too much smoke." You need wood for smoke, chips, chunks, or logs. Kirk likes a mix of 60 percent oak, 20 percent hickory, and 20 percent apple or other fruit wood (like pecan or cherry). Mesquite is popular in Texas; alder in the Northwest. At a minimum wood should have been aged at least six months, it will then burn more evenly than fresh green woods, which burn hotter and give off more smoke. Avoid resinous woods (pine, cedar, and spruce), plywood, and treated woods. Use logs for pits that can handle them. Kirk recommends wood chunks, which don't need soaking; just put two or three on the hot coals when you begin to cook. If using chips, soak them for 30 minutes (otherwise they'll burn up), then scatter a few handfuls on the hot coals.
LIGHTING UP: Of all the ways to start a fire, the easiest is with an inexpensive metal chimney lighter (available in hardware stores). Just put newspaper in the bottom, fill with charcoal, then light paper. Once coals catch, transfer to grill or smoker. Unlit coals will then catch when placed around burning coal.
THE SETUP, INDIRECT: Meat, when cooked away from the heat source, is infused with pure wood smoke, rather than with the smoke from fat dripping directly on the coals. Place a drip pan under the meat to catch this fat. Any grill can be set up to cook indirectly. Light coals in chimney, then use long-handled tongs to arrange coals into a pyramid on one side of grill. (Keep a couple of lit coals in chimney, then add fresh coals so that when you need to replenish fire, these coals will be ready.) Keep grill open and let coals burn down to white ash (20–30 minutes). To test coals, hold your hand about five inches above them. The fire is ready if you can leave your hand there for five seconds. Any shorter, the fire is still too hot; longer, you're losing your heat. To simulate a water smoker, which adds moisturizing steam to smoke, put a large aluminum pan filled halfway with water next to coals. Fit grill in place, and put meat and a thermometer on grill over pan, not coals. Close lid, leaving vents partially open. Put another thermometer in a top vent. Low heat means 200°–265°.
THE SETUP, DIRECT: Placing meat directly above the heat is best for grilling or barbecuing small pieces of meat. Use a chimney to light coals, then arrange coals in a single layer on grill with long-handled tongs. After 10–15 minutes, place meat on grill.
WHILE YOU'RE AT IT: Open vents to raise heat, close to lower; add coal when temperature dips too low to adjust with vents. To maintain even heat, add preheated coals. Replenish wood chips and refill drip pan (if using) when adding coals. Don't keep checking meat, Kirk says; each time you do, precious heat and smoke escape.
Paul Kirk’s Dry Rub
Makes about 3 cups
Kansas City chef and "Baron of Barbecue" Paul Kirk, who gave us this recipe, told us that the anatomy of the dry rub consists of a balance of sugar and salt, with paprika added for color, chili powder for flavor, and a touch of mustard "just because." From there, it's up to you.
· 1 cup sugar
· 1/4 cup seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
· 1/4 cup garlic salt 1 4 cup celery salt 1 4cuponion salt
· 1/2 cup paprika
· 3 tbsp. chili powder
· 2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
· 1 tbsp. lemon pepper
· 2 tsp. ground sage
· 1 tsp. dry mustard
· 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
· 1/2 tsp. cayenne
Sift together sugar, seasoned salt, garlic salt, celery salt, onion salt, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, lemon pepper, sage, mustard, thyme, and cayenne into a bowl. Store in a jar (When using, sprinkle onto, don't rub into, meat).
Kansas City BBQ Sauce, makes about two cups
We got the recipe for this tangy sauce from Remus Powers, who founded the Diddy-Wa-Diddy National Barbecue Sauce Contest, now part of the American Royal BBQ Contest, the world's biggest competitive BBQ cook-off. It's perfect over ribs, chicken, or any barbecued meat.
· 1 /4 tsp. ground allspice
· 1 /4 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 4 tsp. ground mace
· 1 /4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
· 1 /2 tsp. curry powder 1 2 tsp. chili powder 1 2 tsp. paprika
· 1 /4 cup white vinegar
· 1 /2 tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco
· 1/3 cup of dark molasses
· 1 cup ketchup
Sift together allspice, cinnamon, mace, pepper, curry powder, chili powder, and paprika into a bowl. Stir in vinegar, and then add hot sauce, ketchup, and dark molasses and mix until very well blended. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sauce may be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator for 2–3 weeks or in freezer for up to 6 months.