Saturday, April 21, 2007

4th of July Pork Ribs

Every 4th of July I'm "volunteered" to handle the cooking over at my father-in-law's house. He has a nice backyard with a pool and waterfalls and all that. He also has a nice little "pool house" building with a mini-kitchen and all that goes with it. His grill is brand new and I was the first to use it. He had it connected to the house gas service, which was a new one for me.

My routine usually consists of prepping 9 racks of pork ribs. Starting the night before I soak them overnight in a brine made up of apple cider, apple cider vinegar (in a 6 to one ration of cider to cider vinegar) and a few spices. I also remove the silver skin layer before the brining. The morning of the 4th I pull the ribs out of the brine and give them each a rub. Since I had 9 racks I did a little expirementing with my rubs and made 3 variations.

The recipes:

The "Base" rib rub:

1 c Hungarian Paprika
1 1/2 c Brown Sugar loosely packed
4 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp. Chili Powder

The "Spicy" rib rub variation:

1 c Base rub (recipe above)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Chipotle Powder

The "Asian" rib rub variation:

1 c Base rub (recipe above)
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp curry powder

The base rib rub is quite basic. There are lots of things that can be done with it. Over time I will be adding other "rub" recipes as I come across them so you can have a variety of sources to begin to create your own personal rub.

The spicy rub was actually not very spicy at all. It had great flavor but didn't give me the kick that I like. 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper over 3 racks of ribs isn't going to give you a lot of heat. If you like yours hot you definitely want to add more cayenne then 1/2 tsp.

The asian rub was quite interesting and flavorful. My father-in-law is diabetic so he doesn't eat most barbecue sauces because of their sugar content so he ate a dry rack that I had rubbed with the asian rub and he couldn't stop talking about it. The curry really gives it an interesting mild flavor. I also made a little sauce for the asian ribs using mostly Thai style peanut sauce and some other asian flavored sauces I had in my fridge. Those ribs turned out with a very unique taste, unique for bbq ribs anyway.

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