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Recipe of the Month!!

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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:13 pm
outagas well done
well done

Posts: 1081
Location: Pewaukee, WI

The things I do for my fellow barbecue lovers.

This was my deck when I commenced smoking the First Timer's Ribs yesterday. I gave up on the shovel right away, the snow was crusty and did not want to be moved. It was a beautiful day otherwise, thirty-something temps and no wind on the deck. First sunglasses weather in a couple weeks, too.

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I got the WSM started, but feared the air flow to the bottom vents might be affected by the banked snow. I left the lower vents wide open to promote airflow - mistake #1. Mistake #2 was failing to clean out some grease in the bottom that flared and made the ribs sooty. I was doing an experiment with WSM cooking without a water pan - results will be posted at TVWBB.

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I did a comparison with the three slabs from the cryovac package. Two were cooked with the First Timers recipe, the third was done using the Best Ribs In The Universe seasonings, although lack of time meant a hotter cook. The First Timers are toward the front and BRITU's in the back. I used the BBQ Baffle for temperature control on the kettle.

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Short-cut time. I used my gasser to sear the sauce on the ribs following smoking (sorry Clay). BRITU in front, First TImers in back. The dark looking ribs in the back were the ones from the WSM where the grease flared up.

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Finished product. They look good enough to eat. My family was split on the ribs, which I think means that the First Timer's Ribs held their own in a head-to-head showdown with the Best Ribs In The Universe. No time for pictures of the plated meal. I should post my wife's Baked Mac & Cheese recipe sometime.

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Some additional thoughts on the Lemon Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce. I followed the recipe and thought that the 6 TBSPs of lemon juice was too much. Although the sauce worked well cooked on the ribs, to my palate it had too much lemon flavor for a dipping sauce. So if you make the sauce, start light on the lemon juice and add more to your taste.
"El método del Su Excelencia, el Rey Minion"
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Post Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:10 am
smoke eater medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: Central VA
On behalf of your fellow Q'ers I salute you for your dedication. I really hadn't thought much about the snow that we haven't gotten this year until seeing your pics. I would have not thought about firing up the grill with that much snow on the ground (er, deck). I guess you folks in the upper midwest are used to it though.

Great looking ribs!

smoke eater
Proud CG owner!

Post Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:23 am
michiganbutcher medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 70
Location: Michigan

I tried this recipe last summer - followed it explicitly.

Some additional thoughts on the Lemon Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce. I followed the recipe and thought that the 6 TBSPs of lemon juice was too much


I found the same for myself - but I had some leftover sauce I put in the fridge and used it a couple of days later, it really mellowed a bit and actually was a lot better than the day I made it.
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Post Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:01 am
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5369
Location: Damascus, Maryland
I have to ask.

Fresh lemon juice or bottled?

And face it, some lemons are just more tart than others.

I experienced the same thing, the sauce balanced out
after sitting for several days.
Weber Summit E-470
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Post Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:13 pm
TX Sandman well done
well done

Posts: 1977
Location: DFW, Texas
I hope to do these next week, so I may have to make the sauce today, as I'll be working all weekend.

I have an idea for some variation that may work out. I'll have to try it and see. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

Rob - TX Sandman
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Post Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:24 pm
michiganbutcher medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 70
Location: Michigan

I have to ask.

Fresh lemon juice or bottled?


I used fresh lemon juice.
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Post Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:16 pm
KettleKooked well done
well done

Posts: 310
Location: Ohio

Smoke Eater,

Great looking meal. Made me very hungry.
I like it fast, fun or tasty.
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Large Big Green Egg
Mike

Post Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:47 am
outagas well done
well done

Posts: 1081
Location: Pewaukee, WI

michiganbutcher wrote:
I have to ask.

Fresh lemon juice or bottled?


I used fresh lemon juice.

I used fresh lemon, too. I had another couple TBSPs ready to add, since the recipe says to add more if needed. Go slow with the lemon juice, it is harder to remove than to add more.

Jim
"El método del Su Excelencia, el Rey Minion"
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Post Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:44 am
TX Sandman well done
well done

Posts: 1977
Location: DFW, Texas
Ok, y'all, get ready.

I made these for dinner last night (the 15th) and took a bunch of pics. I also did a sauce variation with some interesting results. Soon as I upload the pics and write out my results, I'll post. Probably Friday night late, but maybe Saturday. (It's a work thing.)

All I can say is if there's a prize for longest post or most pics, go ahead and send it to me now. :wink:

Rob - TX Sandman
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Post Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:51 am
TX Sandman well done
well done

Posts: 1977
Location: DFW, Texas
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All right folks, here’s my entry. Hope you made a pit stop before starting this, cause you’re in for a long ride.

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First, on Tuesday, 3/13, I made my sauce. Well, I made two. I had an idea for a variation in the recipe that worked out pretty well, IMO.

Step one, get all my stuff together. Note the recipe in the lower right portion of the picture.
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Step two, the variation. For a second batch of sauce, I left out the lemon zest and juice, and instead used the following ingredients:
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I followed the base recipe exactly for my lime sauce (except the lemon), but I added the following ingredients:
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
9 tablespoons fresh lime juice (*please* start with 6 or less and add from there)
3/4 teaspoon allspice (could’ve used less, maybe 1/2 tsp, can always add)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves (could’ve left this out altogether, with the allspice)

I started out with more lime juice because I had trouble tasting the lime with just 6 tbsp. At 9 I noticed roughly the same level of lime flavor that I had with the lemon flavor, but a smoother bite. The lime sauce came out a little thinner than the lemon sauce. Not super thin, just a little bit thinner. I may not have cooked it long enough, but I was having some spatter problems while trying to cook both sauces at once. (Of course I was wearing a white shirt at the time, so I had little dots everywhere.)

And what did the final sauce look like?
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I had my wife taste both sauces. Her response was, “It’s sauce.” To her it didn’t really taste much different from a commercial sauce. To me, the citrus was a bright note, but I expected it to mellow. It was smoky and sweet, without being overpowering in any area except the citrus. The lime had a smoother flavor than the lemon, and the allspice added a flavor that reminded me of cooking sweets, like lime cookies.

I bought a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce for a taste competition with the ribs. To me, SBR’s sauce was too smoky for me. I couldn’t taste anything past the smoke. I preferred my sauces to that one, but it’s still only Tuesday. We’ll see what happens when the sauces mellow and I make the ribs.

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Wednesday, 3/14, I had a bit of a taste test at lunch. The lemon sauce had mellowed quite well, with only a bright lemon touch at the end. The lime, on the other hand, hadn’t mellowed much at all. The lime still was a strong overall flavor, and the extra allspice and cloves were a touch more powerful, it seemed. It wasn’t bad, but a much different flavor than the lemon sauce. I decided to give the lime a real test with some baked pork loin for lunch. Yes, that’s corn on top of mashed potatoes.
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I liked the flavor, but you have to like lime with this one. I think the lime was a great idea, but could use some tweaking. Less lime juice and cloves/allspice.

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Thursday, 3/15. The big rib day. I volunteered to make ribs tonight for my in-laws and some friends, both as a reason to do this recipe and as thanks for all the meals they have us over for. Marie and Susie volunteered to make sides, leaving me to provide the meat. Can do!

Step one, make the rub. Again, note the recipe. If I’m not careful, people might actually think I’m organized and planned ahead for this! ;)
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What a color! I’m planning on making 5 racks, so this recipe is 2.5 times the normal recipe. Except for the black pepper. I could only double that, cause my hands just couldn’t run that grinder any more.
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And now, the ribs. 12 pounds of baby backs! I found these ribs at a local Tom Thumb grocery store. They’re not enhanced, so all flavor will be strictly the recipe.
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After removing the membrane (sorry, folks, I just couldn’t figure out how to get a pic of that step), I seasoned generously with the rub . . .
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. . . and threw them on the grill. I’m at the in-laws, so I am using their Weber Summit Platinum. (Oh, I want one!!!) It’s got a built-in smoker box, so I have my hickory chips in there.
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A few things here, some you may notice, others you won’t. I’m using Steven’s Rib Rack to cook these puppies. Now, it’s only got 4 slots, so I improvised by laying the 5th rack on top of the other 4. No worries there, but notice the position of the rack. See how it’s running sideways in the grill? There’s a simple reason for that. The grill isn’t big enough for the rack! I tried laying the rack in there running front to back, but I couldn’t close the lid! Even sideways, I could only get the lid closed by pushing it all the way to the back. It’s just slightly too long for this grill, at least it is with the ribs in it. Ah, well, I can make it work. Only problem will be the burners run front to back, so the ends are being exposed to the heat more than the middle. Not much I can do about that. (Yeah, I probably could have tried a different technique. Hindsight’s 20/20, and it’s easy to be the QB on Monday morning.)

Here we are about 15 minutes into the cook. The smoker box is on the far left of the picture, so I rotated the rack to try and even out the smoke.
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Here’s the mop sauce. I used apple cider, butter, and a shot of Bushmill's. The chunks you see are butter melting into the mop sauce.
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And we’re done! Looks pretty good to me. Time to sear a little sauce into a couple of racks.
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Off the grill and resting a bit. If you look closely, the rack on top is pulling apart. That happened as I took it out of the rack. They are so tender just the weight of the ribs caused them to pull apart.
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And a rack sliced for serving. You can see a sample rib is missing near the middle. That one was quality control. My wife stole that one off the board before I could finish carving.
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The proof’s in the tasting, right? Well, all I heard was “Mmmmm!”, “Ooooh!”, “Wow, Rob, these are *good*!” and similar comments. Some were slightly chewy, but not extremely so. The only negative comment I heard was from Karen. “Rob, you went a little happy with the rub. Your son won’t eat these.” And she was right. Apparently, Nathan took one bite, said it was “too spicy”, and was done. Didn’t phase the adults, though. They had 2 racks gone before anyone decided they maybe oughta sit down and eat from a plate, maybe have some sides.

Now, remember the sauces? I brought 3, the lemon brown sugar sauce, my lime variation, and SBR’s sauce. In a blind tasting, the overwhelming favorite by unanimous vote was . . . Rob’s lime special! Woo Hoo!! Image Lemon was second, and SBR came in a (very) distant third. In fact, other than the small sample I poured, it was never touched, and probably will *never* be touched.

Now, when I seared the sauce into the ribs, I used the lime sauce. Wow, was it good! It had mellowed a bit, but still had a definite lime taste. When seared, it left just a hint of lime sweetness to the meat, but what a wonderful, different flavor! The ribs were good enough on their own to not need sauce, but the sweet helped round out the spiciness of the rub. Definitely a keeper.

Some of you may remember a pic of my wife, Karen, eating a rib while my baby, Clarissa, screamed. Perhaps she wanted one?
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Yep, she did! My, how times change! She gnawed on that bone like it was the last rib bone on the planet. Definitely not too spicy for her!
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The sides were a Greek salad with cucumber, black olives, tomatoes, and feta cheese and steamed carrots with a touch of maple. I wish I could show you pics of these, or make a plate, but I had to get to work. All the above work, and all I got to eat was 2 ribs! I couldn’t even really enjoy them much cause I was already running late. I’m hearing all these great comments while I get ready, people fighting over the ribs as they’re cut, and I get to leave. Sometimes it’s lousy being a responsible adult. :cry:

But, y'know, it was a real rush to hear all the comments, see the faces, and know I put them there. That was cool. 8)

Rob – TX Sandman

Edited to correct some misspellings and insert spacers for the days.
Last edited by TX Sandman on Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:20 am
nascarchuck well done
well done

Posts: 482
Location: Benbrook, Texas

Rob... We have go to do a cookout!!!!!! I elect you to cook. I will bring the iced tea! :wink: :lol: :lol:

In the last two or three days I have seen some food that just looks fantastic!

Guess that I will have to run by Sams and get some meat to cook this weekend among my long list of chores.

Post Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:47 am
outagas well done
well done

Posts: 1081
Location: Pewaukee, WI

We are in the presence of greatness. :wink:

You are awesome Rob. Thanks for your detailed report.

Good thing you used thumbnails. Fullsize pics might have blown up the server.

Jim
"El método del Su Excelencia, el Rey Minion"
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Post Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:11 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Stellar performance Rob! 8) I like the way you maxxed out that rib rack, excellent use of the tools on hand.

Your wife had the right idea.... I believe I'd have one of those before you knew what happened. :lol:
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Post Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:05 am
TX Sandman well done
well done

Posts: 1977
Location: DFW, Texas
Thanks for the great comments, guys! It was fun, and everyone enjoyed the meal.

We were over there tonight for St. Patricks and did corned beef on the grill (recipe here, from weber.com, best corned beef I've had). All they talked about was the ribs. I personally blew their diets, they all ate too much, and Ron said they had to chase him out with a stick. 8) I'd say the recipe is a keeper.

BTW, Bill, FIL, got a rib rack for his birthday (Charmglow brand, I think). He really liked mine better, said it's very sturdy and heavy duty compared to his.

I'm getting quite a reputation since I've been reading this board. Good recipes, techniques, and a place to share successes. I owe y'all big.

Rob - TX Sandman
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Post Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:07 pm
C. Piper well done
well done

Posts: 953
Location: North Central Oregon
Jim your ribs look wonderful!! They look like the ribs everyone shoots for. And in the snow even. Man it makes me feel like such a wuoss when I bail out becuase of a chill wind.

Rob great chow and looks like a wonderful family. Be proud of both! Thanks for sharing the story I enjoyed it.
Clay
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CharGriller Super Pro W/SFB

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