Monday, July 20, 2009

Recipe: Barbecued Pork Ribs

Are you ready? Here comes a diatribe.

Propane should be used for hot air ballooning and forklifts and never for barbecuing.

Propane should be used for hot air ballooning and forklifts and never for barbecuing.

Propane should be used for hot air ballooning and forklifts and never for barbecuing.

Did you get that?

When barbecuing, NOTHING equals a wood or charcoal heat source, NOTHING. Of course there are going to be nay-sayers, pseudo-scientists and pseudo-philosophizers and all manner of malignant thinkers out there who are going to protest and offer numerous reasons why propane is just as good as charcoal or wood. Well guess what? I'm not listening because I know better.

Nothing can impart the flavors on food that wood and charcoal do, especially not a smelly gas like propane. Sure it's cleaner and convenient but so is masturbation compared to the real thing, and I don't know about you, but you can put me in the "real thing" column when asking folks what they prefer.

If you own a propane grill, stop using it, fill it with dirt and grow geraniums in it. Then go out and get yourself a well-made, sturdy barbecue like a Weber or Charbroil. That's what I finally did (well, except for the geranium part), and I have no regrets because the results are remarkable.

If you do take this sound advice and come over to the purist ranks, seriously consider the charcoal and wood you're going to use. You wouldn't put regular fuel in a Maserati and you can't use those uniform futuristic-looking briquettes in a good barbecue. They are processed and covered with chemicals to make them burn uniformly, and well, you might as well use propane if you're going to use them.

Look for the good chunky and irregular (naturally) shaped stuff that comes in big bags. You'll find these burn hotter and impart a better flavor on the food you prepare with them. Do a little research on the subject and you'll see what I mean. It also doesn't hurt to investigate the best barbecue and ribs joints and see how they're cooking. If they're the best, I know what's burning in their kitchens!

This is one of my first original barbecue recipes. I hunted around for a good ribs recipe, but came up short. No single recipe looked like something I wanted to try. So I just combined what I thought were the best ingredients in each one. Most recipes recommend simmering the ribs for 20 to 30 minutes and then letting them marinate overnight in the sauce. I don't, I go from pot right to the grill and slow cook them until I can't stand waiting to eat them any longer. These things are a smash hit at my house.

Barbecued Pork Ribs

2 full racks of pork ribs (St. Louis style or babyback)
1 litre of Coca-Cola®
1 large onion (frenched or sliced)
1 Tbs of ginger powder
1 4 oz. can of tomato sauce
4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweet Baby Ray's® barbecue sauce (or your favorite which should be Sweet Baby Ray's®)

In a large pan, place the ribs, Coca-Cola®, ginger, onion, garlic and tomato sauce, salt and pepper and add enough water to just cover the ribs.

Set on high heat and bring to a boil.

When it reaches a boil, lower heat and continue at a low simmer for 30-40 minutes. (Important note! You can simmer these longer or leave them in the warm liquid longer. The ribs will become more and more tender. They can get too tender and begin falling off the bone on the grill. It's your choice. I generally simmer them for 30 to 40 minutes and then let them sit in the warm broth for up to 4 hours for perfectly tender ribs.)

Remove from heat and remove the ribs. Slather them with the Sweet Baby Ray's® and place them on a preheated grill.

Slow cook them over medium heat being careful not to burn them. Turn them occasionally and slather with the barbecue sauce each time.

When they have been cooking for at least an hour and looking like the sexiest ribs you've ever wanted to eat, remove them from the grill, re-slather with barbecue sauce and cut into individual ribs.

Serve with cole slaw, roasted corn-on-the-cob, corn biscuits, beer and bbq'd beans.

Apologize to your heart and dig in!