Friday, March 19, 2010

Country Style Pork Ribs

I think pork shoulder has an inferiority complex. Or at least an identity crisis.

First of all, the amazing "pork butt" is really the pork shoulder. Second, "country style pork ribs" really aren't ribs at all, they're from the pork shoulder too. Yet they insist on going by different names, ashamed of their true identity.

It kind of reminds me of the advice Mitch Hedberg gives turkey at the 3:50 mark in this video...

I had some of these country style IMPOSTOR pork ribs and they whispered to me that they wanted to hook up with some sweet hickory smoke.

So I rubbed them with a 2 to 1 mix of my pork chop rub (below) and black pepper.

NMT Pork Chop Dry Rub

1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c turninado sugar
1/4 c smoked paprika
2 T garlic salt
2 T kosher salt
1 t black pepper, smoked
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t cumin
1/4 t allspice
1/2 t dried thyme

Then I put them in the Big Green Egg at 275f indirect heat.
[Gas Grill Subtitle] Turn your burner(s) on one side to get a 275f temp and put the ribs on the other side.
[Oven Subtitle] Put the ribs on a raise rack in a 275f oven.
[Kung Fu Subtitle] You have defiled my family name. Cook me some ribs or I will snap your neck.

Can't you just hear the Barry White music playing while Country Style Ribs and Sweet Hickory Smoke get acquainted inside of the Egg?

While they did their thing, I made a variation of a side dish that we loved before. We added sliced baby bella mushrooms tonight but we decided it didn't really add anything to the dish so next time we'd skip the addition. Plus the quality of the green beans was seriously lacking. But subbing the chicken stock for water was a definite "must keep" addition.

Green Beans with Onion
source: adapted from Step by Step Cookbook

1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 ea white onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions in a large pot for about 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Whisk tomato paste and chicken stock together. Add the tomato mixture, oregano, salt, pepper and beans to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until beans are tender.

Oh yeah, back to the impostor ribs. So when the ribs hit an internal temp of about 165f, brush them lightly with your favorite BBQ sauce. Raise the cooker (Egg, grill, oven) temp to 350f and cook until the internal temp hits 175f.

Let rest for 10 minutes.

Drizzle a thinned bbq sauce over the rib and serve. This is another area where you can have fun. Most folks expect their BBQ to be drenched in a thick sweet sauce. It really doesn't need that. Go light. Thin a bit of a commercial BBQ sauce with something like balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, wine, stock or beer and just drizzle it over the meat. Play around and find one that YOU like and it will become YOUR signature sauce.

The dinner was great but I totally screwed the pooch on the food styling of this shot.

The actual plate was totally wrong for the green beans, it stole the color of the tomato sauce. I should have gone with a white plate or light colored plate. Oh well, the food was good, the photography was okay and food styling comes in a distant third in priorities anyway. But I'm learning.

Speaking of BBQ....
One of my favorite blogs, Lord of the Wings, mentioned the Travel Channel's new series Food Wars. The episode he blogged about was Buffalo wing battle between Duff's and the original, Anchor Bar. It's a neat concept because they pick to juggernaut restaurants of a particular dish and place them head to head. The judging panel includes 3 neutral judges and 1 fan of each of the two establishments. So far they've done Italian beef sandwiches, buffalo wings, and fried chicken.

Well this week, Food Wars treads into the BBQ world. It puts the Texas BBQ institutions of Kreuz Market against Smitty's Market in a BBQ Thunderdome. One brisket enters, one brisket leaves. Here's a preview of the show that airs THIS Tuesday at 10 PM.

Check it out if you get a chance. The first three episodes were entertaining. Speaking of which...

Idea for the Food Network:
The Travel Channel (No Reservations, Man vs. Food, Bizarre Foods, the food Paradise series and now Food Wars), Bravo (Top Chef) and TLC (BBQ Pitmasters) are kicking your ever loving ass at "food-entertainment". Maybe you could actually get back to producing instructional shows?