Archive for March, 2012

Pork spareribs can come from the loin or the belly. Loin ribs are small and are therefore called “baby back.” Belly ribs are larger, less meaty, and less expensive. There are at least 11 ribs in a rack of spareribs, and the cut includes portions of breast meat, sternum, and diaphragm. When these sections are trimmed, the rack takes on a rectangular shape and is sold as “St. Louis” ribs. We prefer the St. Louis cut because it is the same thickness from end to end, and so it cooks evenly. It is also easier to cut into serving portions.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes (plus 10 minutes for brine and glaze)
Brine: 6 to 12 hours
Grill: About 1 hour.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs
– Long-handled basting brush

THE GRILL
Gas:
Indirect heat, medium (325° to 350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill – middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill – 1 side off Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side)
20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting
Wood:
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
2 racks ribs, about 4 pounds, St. Louis cut spareribs or baby back ribs
2½ cups Apple-Chai Brine
Oil for coating grill grate
1 cup Ginger-Hoisin Balsamic Glaze.

DIRECTIONS
1. Cut the racks in half. Put them in a gallon-size zipper-lock bag with the brine. Seal the zipper, leaving about an inch open; push on the bag to release any trapped air through the opening, and close the zipper completely. Massage the liquid gently into the meat and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the ribs on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ribs registers about 155°F, about 1 hour. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F.
4. Brush the ribs with half of the ginger-hoisin glaze, turn, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Brush with the remaining glaze, turn, cover, and cook for another 3 minutes.
5. Remove the ribs to a large platter, cut into 1- or 2-rib sections, and serve.

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The trick to tender, succulent ribs is in the brine. The salt in the brine makes the twisted, ribbon-like proteins of meat unravel. As the proteins unwind, their newly opened bonds bind to the liquid in the brine, absorbing its moisture and flavor. When the meat cooks, the protein strands start to bond to one another, trapping the liquid. As long as you don’t overcook the meat, this moisture will stay in it, causing brined meats to be 6 to 8 percent juicier than their unbrined counterparts.

THE GRILL
Gas:
Indirect heat, medium (325° to 350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill – middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill – 1 side off
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side) 20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting
Wood:
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
2 racks ribs, about 4 pounds, St. Louis cut spareribs or baby back ribs
2¼ cups Ten-Pepper Brine
Oil for coating grill grate
1¼ cups Sweet, Hot, and Sour BBQ Sauce.

DIRECTIONS
1. Cut the racks in half. Put them in a gallon-size zipper-lock bag with the brine. Seal the zipper, leaving about an inch open; push on the bag to release any trapped air through the opening, and close the zipper completely. Massage the liquid gently into the meat and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the ribs on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ribs registers about 155°F, about 1 hour. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F.
4. Brush the ribs with half of the barbecue sauce, turn, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Brush with the remaining sauce, turn, cover, and cook for another 3 minutes.
5. Remove the ribs to a large platter, cut into 1- or 2-rib sections, and serve.

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You’ve never had ribs like these. Inundated with coriander, cumin, and lime, the meat is tenderized and moistened by brine and then glazed with a lime-butter vinaigrette that is flavored with cilantro (coriander leaf) – reflecting back on the coriander in the brine.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes (plus 10 minutes for brine and syrup)
Brine: 6 to 12 hours
Grill: About 1 hour.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs
– Long-handled basting brush.

THE GRILL
Gas:
Indirect heat, medium (325° to 350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill – middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill – 1 side off
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side)
20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting
Wood:
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
2 racks ribs, about 4 pounds, St. Louis cut spareribs or baby back ribs
2½ cups Cumin, Coriander, and Lime Brine
Oil for coating grill grate
1/3 cup Lime-Cilantro Butter.

DIRECTIONS
1. Cut the racks in half. Put them in a gallon-size zipper-lock bag with the brine. Seal the zipper, leaving about an inch open; push on the bag to release any trapped air through the opening, and close the zipper completely. Massage the liquid gently into the meat and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the ribs on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ribs registers about 155°F, about 1 hour. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F.
4. When the ribs are done, brush them with half of the lime-cilantro butter, turn, and brush with the rest of the butter.
5. Remove the ribs to a large platter, cut into 1- or 2-rib sections, and serve.

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