Sunday, June 8, 2008

Spring Break Ribs

22-23 May 2008:  Second Annual Spring Break!  We made some ribs out of forrest fed pork.  Delicious: 



Ingredients:
  • 2 racks (4.3 lbs) of ribs from Buffalo Creek Farms (www.forestfed.com) - forest free range pork that I bought at the Old Town Alexandria Farmer's Market
  • Brine
    • Apple Cider
    • Some kind of Italian dressing-like marinade that Scott had
    • pepper
    • Sea salt
    • oregano
    • garlic salt
    • honey
    • brown sugar
  • Glaze
    • Apple Cider
    • pepper
    • honey
    • brown sugar
  • Dipping sauce
    • red peppers
    • pepper
    • leftover glaze
  • Baked Beans
    • Bush's Baked Beans
    • Bacon
    • Onion
    • Celery
  • Potato Salad
    • not sure, Scott's recipe

Equipment:
  • Stove
  • some pots and pans
  • oven
  • baking pan and rack
  • grill
  • blender

Procedure:
We started out by making the brine on Thursday evening. We simmered all the ingredients listed for about half an hour. The brine was heavy on salt and easy on the brown sugar. Once it was ready, we cooled it down, and put it in bags with the ribs to sit in the fridge overnight. We then went out on the town and experienced several of Wilmington's fine establishments which caters to those of the imbibing persuasion. Very nice night to kick off SPRING BREAK '08!!!

The next morning (afternoon), we had mimosas, put the ribs in the oven at 235, and went to the beach for some fun in the sun - a SPRING BREAK necessity. We took too long at the beach and called Scott's neighbor to turn the stove off after the ribs had been going about 4 hours. When we got back (about 5 hours after putting the ribs in the oven), Scott and I got started on the fixin's. I made the glaze pretty much the same way as the brine, but smaller quantity, no salt, no vinegar based marinade, and lots of honey and brown sugar. I cooked it until you could smell the apple sugars caramelizing and it got syrupy. Scott added bacon, caramelized onions, and celery to some baked beans. The day before, he had made some killer potato salad. We roasted three red peppers, then put the ribs on the grill for about 15 minutes per side with the glaze. I put the roasted peppers, the leftover glaze, some salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a blender to make an awesome smoky, sweet dipping sauce for the ribs.

Resulting Deliciousness:
When everything was ready, we all sat down for a fantastic meal. The seasoning on ribs was great and they were nice and moist and tender. The beans turned out delicious - what wouldn't with a bunch of bacon added? The dipping sauce was a nice addition to the ribs and didn't take anything away from the flavor of the meat the way most barbecue sauce does. It was all capped off by several hours of drinking and s'mores around the campfire in Scott's back yard. Not much could have made it a better second night of SPRING BREAK '08!!

The only think I might change would be to leave the vinegar based marinade out of the brine and add more black pepper to both the brine and the glaze. Roasting the peppers longer might have been good too, but they were decently done and the sauce turned out well.

The next day, we went deep sea fishing and got caught in some bad weather. Karma is real - the day after cooking awesome pork ribs, I chipped a rib while being slammed into the side of the boat. It will take about 6-8 weeks to heal, right now I feel like I'm about to die when I sneeze. Totally worth it.



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