Saturday, October 27, 2007

Well it's about Barbeque time!

I was thinking. I've given myself the title of "Mississippi Barbeque Princess" and I have yet to give a barbeque recipe. I've yet to discuss how-to or given a good tip for producing great Memphis style barbeque. In 1992 I wanted to be more involved with our cooking team. My sister and I would show up and we'd be gate guarders. For those who compete on the Memphis circuit, you know what a gate guarder is. It's important in that that person is responsible for keeping out spectators when there's a judge present. It's also the job you give to the new person who shows little signs of being adept at anything 'Que. My dad thought we were pretty and we were little more than decoration in a team shirt. I got fed up with being the girl at the gate. (Even if I was hung over!) Soon after we started cooking ribs in 1992 I talked my dad into believing that I could give a rib presentation. Back in those years ribs were different. All the cooking methods we use now were developed over time. (Maybe I should say that our ribs were different and not assign this to everyone.) In the early 90's we did a straight forward cooking method: skin ribs, marinate ribs, season ribs, cook ribs over a 220 degree fire for 6 or more hours. sauce ribs. serve ribs.

At Possum Town Pig Fest in Columbus Mississippi in 1992 my dad let me do the table presentation for our ribs. I'd heard his presentation and thought I could replicate it. Keep in mind that in 1992 barbeque was like the "Little Rascals" club the "he-man-woman-hater's" I can't be positive of it but from what I can find out, that table presentation was the first uttered by a chick. We went on to win that contest with those ribs and boy I was hooked! I noticed in 93 that no one would look me in the eye when I presented facts about the cooking process and would go so far as to ask my dad questions because they didn't buy my knowledge of the process. In 93 I started getting my tired and hungover butt up and going out with dad to cook those ribs so that he could in good concience say: don't look at me she cooked them.

In that time we had a huge problem with burnt ends. the ends of our ribs were always over done due to lack of protection. We came up with a way to help our ribs along, ensure that the ends were not only edible but also fabulous. If you're cooking at home, this is a great way to get ribs ready for a party the next day:

Start with a 1.5-2 lb BABY BACK RIB. This will work for as many slabs as you'd like to cook and will also work with a less expensive ST. LOUIS CUT RIB. (I don't know about spare ribs, my eletism won't allow me to try). Remove the membrane from your ribs. It's found on the underside close to the bones. If you use a knife or better a screw driver to slide along one of the bones you'll find the membrane and it's easily removed. *this is called 'skinning' your rib. (side note: this is why people boil their ribs to make them tender, removing this membrane eliminates that horrid and very non-barbeque step). After ribs are skinned it's your choice: to marinate or not to marinate. If you decide that you want to here's a marinade suggestion:

EQUAL PARTS UBON'S MEAT MARINADE AND APPLE JUICE with a cup of UBON'S SEASON T'UP. If those aren't on hand try SOY SAUCE, LEMON JUICE, APPLE JUICE, BALSAMIC VINEGAR and your favorite cajun seasoning.

If you decide not to marinate that is ok too. We've won and lost championships both ways. If marinading remove from marinade after 4 hours-24 hours. Lay out your ribs meat side down. I use UBON'S SEASON T'UP but you could use any of 1000 rib rubs. My suggestion is that you find one that doesn't start with salt as an ingredient. If your favorite starts with salt as an ingredient use 1/2 rib rub mixed with 1/2 paprika, garlic, black and red pepper mixture. Season your meat thoroughly, the ribs should be orange with seasoning. Flip and repeat. Rub to coat. Flip bottom side up again and coat with GRANULATED BROWN SUGAR . Flip and repeat. Rub to coat. The brown sugar helps mellow the rub and works well with pork. it won't burn or make the ribs too sweet. Let your ribs sit at room temp while you are fiddling with your fire. Get your smoker or grill to at least 200 degrees. I'd suggest a little higher. If you're using a barbeque grill, I'd suggest that you place a water pan under your grill to help with moisture. When you put ribs on to cook, make sure you rotate them in and out of your grill's hot spots. Every time you look at the ribs us a mist bottle with apple juice to soak them down. this also helps with moisture and color. Don't forget that old addage "if you're looking you're not cookin" BUT if you're forgetting about your ribs, they are burning right up. After 1.5 hours on 220-250 take ribs off. Lay out foil and place rib meat side up on foil. here is a great spot to get creative. Add HONEY, BARBEQUE SAUCE, APPLE JUICE, PINEAPPLE JUICE, PEACH PRESERVES, APPLE JELLY anything that you want that will melt and join with the juices from the ribs. Wrap in the foil and return to the grill for another 45 minutes. After 45 minutes place the ribs in a dry ice chest and close the lid. Do not open for an hour or two. If you're serving ribs the same day unwrap and put back on the 200 degree grill. When you unwrap, these ribs will be almost too tender. putting them back on the grill with help firm them up. You'll discard the juice that's in the wrap or add it to your water pan. Go ahead and add the sauce of your choice. After about 20 minutes your ribs are ready to eat.

My sauce is based of course with Ubon's. I take UBON'S SAUCE, HONEY, PRESERVES (any kind), AND BROWN SUGAR and run them through the food processor until smooth. A simple barbeque sauce if you don't have Ubon's as a base (you poor dear!) is: 1 Cup KETCHUP, 1 Cup VINEGAR, 1 tbsp YELLOW MUSTARD, 1/4 cup BROWN SUGAR, 1/4 cup HONEY, 1/4 cup HOT SAUCE. Cook this with preserves of your choice, and allow to thicken before adding to ribs. You will mop your sauce on your ribs several times. If the sauce is warm it will make the ribs a shiney red.

If you've precooked your ribs for tomorrow, remove them from the dry icechest and lay them out on the table to cool. Once cooled, refrigerate until an an hour an a half before serving and put on the grill to rewarm and sauce. Make sure your sauce is warm when mopping it on.

1 comment:

wanda1234 said...

thanks for sharing.....

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