Saturday, March 10, 2012

Johnny O's Ribs

A recipe here from honorary Meat Hunx member Johnny O. The man in charge here grew up cooking and eating right. He cares about good ingredients more than most. The other night we had a bunch of people over. Johnny showed up, uncharacteristically late, but still in time for the denouement of the evening's BBQ phase. He was so excited about his ribs, that he kind of forgot he'd brought a date who didn't know anyone. She sat on the couch visibly concerned about the combination of strangers, smoke and cold while Johnny ripped around the apartment preparing for imminent success. A little awkward, but totally worth it (for everyone else).

This recipe feeds four people.  Do not listen to the butcher if they tell you you need two racks of ribs to feed four.  That is a lie: four giants maybe.  Not four regular people. They would never tell you that at Florence Prime Meat Market, where these hunx were picked-up.

First, the marinade, combine in a blender:
- 8-10 garlic coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup water


Second, the rub:
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sweet paprika
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1/4 cup dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all of these in a heavy plastic bag and then shake it up.

Third, the sauce:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- Salt
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup yellow mustard
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Siracha)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, green pepper and a large pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rum and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, black pepper, allspice and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, water, ketchup, molasses, mustard, vinegar and hot sauce and simmer over moderate heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Transfer the barbecue sauce to a large food processor and puree. Season the sauce with salt. You can make the sauce a few days ahead.  It will keep for 2 weeks or so.

Fourth, the ribs:
- Marinate the ribs for at least a couple hours, preferably overnight.
- Dry off the ribs using paper towel.
- Add the rub by placing the ribs in a heavy plastic bag with the rub and shaking it
- Cook the ribs for 2-3 hours under low heat, brushing with bbq sauce at regular intervals.  If you have a BBQ, when the ribs are getting close, add a final slather of BBQ sauce and turn the heat up high.  This will create a delicious crispy-ish sealant, if you're into that sorta thing (If you're not, why are you even reading this?).  Whether you're using an oven or a bbq, the main thing is that they need to be cooked under low heat, like 250 degrees, for several hours. You can also split up the cooking duties between your stove and your bbq. But latter is naturally for more taste-dominant than the former.

You've outdone yourself once again Johnny O. Literally well done. Being the gentleman that he is, I found the jarred sauce left-overs in my fridge the next morning.

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