Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Who’s got the best ribs?

Who’s got the best ribs? TODAY brought together some of the best pitmasters from around the country to have a spareribs showdown. Check out the restaurant recipes from Chris Lilly, author of “Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book,” Kenny Callaghan, pitmaster at NYC’s Blue Smoke, and Ed Mitchell from The Pit in Raleigh, N.C.

Recipe: Black pepper beef ribs
Kenny Callaghan, Blue Smoke, NYC

* Ribs
* 2 racks of beef back ribs (with membrane removed from underside of ribs)
* Rub:
* 2 tablespoons butcher ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoon kosher salt
* 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix all of the rub ingredients together, making sure to break up the brown sugar. Take the rub and coat both sides of the beef ribs evenly.

Place ribs on a baking pan oven in the oven, and cook for 6 1/2 to 7 hours (or until tender). Serve immediately.

Each rack can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to three days. To serve, simply reheat in the oven or on the grill.

Recipe: Cherry-pineapple sweet ribs with Zin-sational glaze
From Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ

* 2 slabs St Louis cut spareribs
* Dry rub
* 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons paprika
* 1 tablespoon garlic salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons onion salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
* 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon oregano
* 1/4 teaspoon cumin

* Liquid seasoning
* 1/2 cup pineapple juice
* 1/2 cup black cherry juice
* 1 tablespoon reserved dry rub mix
* 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

* Zin-sational Glaze
* 1 cup Red Zinfandel wine
* 1 cup black cherry juice
* 1/2 cup Rainier cherries
* 1/2 cup blackberries
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 jalapeno pepper, veins removed and seeded
* 1 1/2 cup Big Bob Gibson Championship Red Sauce (substitute favorite BBQ sauce)


Remove the membrane from the back of the rib. Combine rub and mix well. Reserve one tablespoon of rub for liquid seasoning mixture. Generously apply rub onto the front and back sides of ribs. Gently pat to ensure that rub will adhere. Preheat charcoal cooker to 250 degrees F. Place ribs meat-side up on grate and cook over indirect heat for 2 1/2 hours.

Remove ribs from the cooker. Place each rib meat-side down on its own doubled aluminum foil square. Foil should be large enough to completely wrap rib. Mix the liquid seasoning. Pour 1/2 cup of the liquid over each rib. At the same time, tightly wrap and seal each rib with aluminum foil. Place back in cooker for 1 hour 15 minutes.

While the ribs are cooking, pour the red wine and the black cherry juice into a saute pan and simmer over medium heat. Reduce the mixture to 1/2 cup (about 15-20 minutes). Add the cherries, blackberries, sugar, and jalapeno pepper to the mixture and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the fruit from the mixture, add the barbecue sauce and stir well.

Remove ribs from cooker, unwrap, and discard foil. Brush the Zin-sational glaze on both sides of ribs. Place ribs in cooker for 15 minutes, or until sauce caramelizes.
Serving Size

Makes: 4-6 servings; prep time: 20 minutes; cook time: 4 hours
search for more recipes in TODAY's Cooking School

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