Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Want My Baby Back, Baby Back, Baby Back, Baby Back, Bay-bee Back Ribs

I got you to sing that, didn't I?  At least in your head, if not out loud.

No idea what I'm talking about?  Check out this clip from the tv show Scrubs riffin' on the old Chili's commercial, so you can sing along with the rest of us.

Brad got a new toy last week, a Weber smoker.  Since buying it he'd been mulling over the very important decision of what to make in the smoker's inaugural run.  He settled on baby back ribs; I was delighted with his choice.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Baked Beans and Corn on the Cob
Brad's ribs were spectacular, and his baked beans were outstanding as well.  Seriously, I think there's nothing this man can't make better than any professional chef out there.  (Yes, Bobby Flay, I'm looking at you.  Ready for a real throwdown?) 

My corn on the cob, on the other hand, was "meh."  Tasty enough, but I totally missed the flavor profile of the rest of the meal. 

So in the recipe below I've swapped out a few ingredients.  It's what I should have done with the corn, and what I will do next time.  Even though the recipe I followed didn't tell me to. 

Kathleen evolves as a chef.

Brad sort of wanted beer with the ribs, and typically the one who spends all afternoon cooking gets to call the shots on beverage.  But I'd been longing to try some of the PlumpJack Syrah we'd brought back from Napa. 

I reminded Brad that of our group I was the only one who hadn't gotten to try it, as they were at the winery tasting it while I was running 26.2 miles down the Silverado Trail.  In the rain.  Into a headwind.  And then I had to listen to them go on and on about how this Syrah would be so perfect with bar-b-que.

We had wine.  Yes, I'm shameless.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs
1 rack baby back ribs
Team Sweet Mama's Kansas City Rub* from Savory Spice Shop (see Sources page)
1/3 cup apple cider
2 Tablespoons bourbon

Coat ribs with rub and let sit 4 hours, wrapped in foil.  Prepare smoker using applewood.  Mix apple cider and bourbon and put in a spray bottle.  Smoke ribs for 4 hours at 225-250 degrees.  Spray each hour with apple cider and bourbon mixture.

*Ingredients as listed on bottle:  Sugar, salt, paprika, hickory smoke salt, black pepper, mistard, onion, celery, ginger, allspice, cayenne and spices.

Baked Beans
4 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup beer (we used Fat Tire)
1/3 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 oz can great northern beans
1 15 oz can red kidney beans
2 Tablespoons tomato paste

Heat a cast iron pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat.  Add bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until fat is rendered.  Add onion and cook, stirring, until transclucent and soft, about 5 minutes.  Add beer and bourbon and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced by half.

Add remaining ingredients and place pot in smoker or put in 300 degree oven and cook until desired thickness, about 2 hours.

Corn on the Cob
Based on a recipe from the July/August issue of Everyday Food, this is how I would modify it to pair well with the ribs and baked beans.

2 ears corn on the cob, husks and silk removed
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeno
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

Heat grill or grill pan over medium high.  Lightly oil with canola oil.  Grill corn, turning occasionally, until kernels are tender and the corn is charred in spots, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients together in a small bowl.  After corn is cooked, remove to a platter and spread butter mixture over the cobs.

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