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Food & Wine Ground >> Ribs and chili: how to do it right


6/24/06 8:32 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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Alright, kids, pay close attention. What I am about to show you is a pictorial semi-real time instructional on how to make two of my favorite recipes. I will most likely move this thread to the Food and Wine Ground in a few days. What we are going to do is BBQ the ribs and beef shoulder tonight. The beef will then be saved until tomorrow morning, when I make the rest of the chili. Here we have one rack of baby backs and one 2.5 lb beef shoulder. I applied a simple dry rub on the ribs about 5 hours ago. This is what I often use, but any dry rub you enjoy will be fine. The smoke is going to be the dominant seasoning anyway. 1 c brown sugar 2 tbsp paprika 1 tbsp of each: kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder a large 3 finger pinch each of nutmeg and cinnamon I also use 1 tbsp cayenne. That is pretty spicy, so you can leave it out completely if you want, or only use 1 tsp for a little spice. Anyway, let's light this thing. I used mostly lump charcoal, but I also used several blocks of guava. Hickory or apple will also work well, but you will probably have to use more of it. Guava is pretty strong and long-lasting(like mesquite). I don't really recommend chips for this because they dissipate too quickly. *9 minutes pass* Ok, I take out the starter and insert the drip pan. I like to put a few ingredients into it to use as a mop later. A few ounces of Jack, a 20 oz (sorry, I had a few sips) of Coke and a decent beer. *15 minutes pass* I'm shooting for about 250 F here, but this is close enough. I am going to put the meat in now. I am impatient and it will go up a little later anyway. Putting the meat in when the temperature is too low isn't going to hurt anything. * 1 hour elapses* I think I'm going to get hungry before these things are done, so I'm going to put on some chicken sausage. These should only take an hour. * 1 hour elapses* Yeah, they are done. I flipped and basted the ribs with the liquid in the pan, also. I don't really care about the beef at this point. Good thing they're done because I'm fucking hungry now. *opens beer #8* A couple of these sausages will hit the spot. Only a couple hours left, maybe less. The sun is going down. The ribs are technically safe to eat at this point, but the texture will be shit. We've still got a ways to go to break down the fat and connective tissues. Plus, we want a tiny bit of char on there. "But, alpo, what about the beef?" The beef is sort of whatever. I leave it in for a few hours, no rub necessary. It's going to be immersed in the chili mixture for hours anyway, so I don't have to worry about doneness or seasonings or even overcooking. The point is really just to impart smoke flavor. The real chili preparation happens tomorrow. To be continued...
6/24/06 8:37 PM
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attjack
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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intriguing
6/24/06 8:41 PM
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WHIPCRACK
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Edited: 24-Jun-06 08:41 PM
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dear god that looks good. *curses the taco I had for dinner*
6/24/06 8:42 PM
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RoninGear
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
Member Since: 09/29/2002
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i was thinking of getting that grill. its ceramic right? how do you like it?
6/24/06 8:55 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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That's what I'm talkin' about.. You can see we're starting to make some real progress on the ribs now. We're about 2.5 hours in. The edges are getting dark a little earlier than I had anticipated, so I'm now considering wrapping them in foil to prevent burning. It is still very moist though and not crispy, so I'm going to let it ride for now. * * - Helpful hint: if the edges of any kind of meat are starting to become black or dark and crispy, you need to either drop the temperature big time or wrap it in foil. Wrapping the meat in foil has a huge disadvantage and that is removing any possibility of the meat absorbing any more smoke. The advantage is it will prevent burning and seal in moisture that prevents drying. With this low of a temperature, however, dropping the temperature any more would be pointless. However, if it is starting to truely burn, you may have no choice. Blackness is OK if the meat is moist, especially if you used a lot of dry rub. Often, what you are seeing is the charring of the seasonings or the carmelization of the sugars, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. You will see this often in things like briskets and pork shoulders that take a very long time to cook (7+ hours). My ribs are still very moist, though, even on the dark spots, so I'm not worrying quite yet.
6/24/06 8:58 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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I might add that if you wrap your meat in foil, you now have the option of using an oven to finish the job, which can actually be desirable depending on the circumstances.
6/24/06 9:07 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 24-Jun-06 09:35 PM
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i was thinking of getting that grill. its ceramic right? how do you like it? It is the large Big Green Egg.. yes, it is ceramic. I can honestly say that it is one of the best things I've ever bought in my life. If you are an avid outdoor cooker, than it is a no-brainer, IMO. It will hit 750 degrees easily, for searing steaks and such, and at lower temperatures, the thermal inertia is shocking. Once the temperature is stabilized, it will maintain for 8+ hours without any adjustment. A full load of fuel at sub-250 temperatures will burn for 24+ hours. I can start a brisket at midnight, go to bed, wake up and check on it at 6 AM, go back to bed, wake up at 10, check on it and it'll be ready by lunchtime. The savings in wood and lump charcoal alone will help it pay for itself in a couple years if you BBQ a couple times a week. The disadvantage is surface area. If you need to make 3 briskets, you'll be in trouble. I have another large steel smoker for high volume. But, for everyday usage, it is the shit.
6/24/06 9:36 PM
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wres157
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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fuckin nice
6/24/06 9:43 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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Almost done now. About 3.5 hours in. I flipped and mopped again. please the bbq threads to samichlaus. English, mothafucka, do you speak it?
6/24/06 10:12 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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Ok, we're basically done now. 4 hours have gone by. I finished the ribs with a Jack Daniels glaze, which is quite excellent and ripped off from TGI Fridays (http://www.recipesource.com/side-dishes/sauces/10/rec1042.html). I applied the glaze and now we wait for 15 min or so.
6/24/06 10:20 PM
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nogamejones
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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bastard! you wouldn't happen to be in Norcal would you?
6/24/06 10:56 PM
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tjmitch
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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nice. I may get myself a green egg.
6/24/06 10:58 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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EVA See you tomorrow, folks, for part 2.
6/24/06 10:59 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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you wouldn't happen to be in Norcal would you? Texa$
6/24/06 11:16 PM
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tristar
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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I gotta learn how to cook
6/24/06 11:41 PM
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The Illustrated Man
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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I used alpo's smoked rib recipe last year to great success. I'm hungry now.
6/24/06 11:57 PM
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chadk
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Edited: 24-Jun-06
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Good work bro!
6/25/06 12:33 AM
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pfsjkd
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Edited: 25-Jun-06
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What's the liquid in the pan below the grill??
6/25/06 1:15 AM
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colby
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Edited: 25-Jun-06
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ttt
6/25/06 1:51 AM
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tarado4
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Edited: 25-Jun-06
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great pics! I have 6 racks of babybacks going on the smoker at noon tommorrow and 2 of my best buddies coming over. A rub similar to yours with oak and little cherry for smoke. Making some pinto beans (soaking them overnight) and garlic bread. Homemade Jack Daniels Sauce. I don't know about putting booze in the water pan though. Yeah, it smells good,..but don't you actually get any of that flavour to your ribs? I would guess not. Reducing a liquid to concentrate the flavour is Cooking 101. I dunno
6/25/06 2:12 AM
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NiteProwleR
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Edited: 25-Jun-06
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herbert edward butt!
6/25/06 10:51 AM
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alpo
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Edited: 25-Jun-06 10:56 AM
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DAY 2 - 8:30 AM Here is our beef we made last night. We need to cut this into cubes. Start by cutting 1 cm strips, then turn the strips flat side down and cut them in half lengthwise, then chop the strips into cubes. This is not going to be easy if it just came out of the fridge. If you are a pussy, you may want to let it sit out for 30 min or so to soften up a little. Ok, we are pretty much mise en place here. I chopped: 2 medium yellow onions 1 green bell pepper 1 orange bell pepper 1 red bell pepper 1 bunch of cilantro You will also see 15 chipotle peppers in that white bowl there. More about those in a minute. Dump all the beef and about 3/4 of the chopped veggies into the pot. We are saving that last quarter to throw in later. It will add some texture and color. Drain the beans. Pour in 2 beers. 1 tbsp beef boullion. Add the tomatoes, stir everything well, turn up the heat all the way and cover. That is a lot of mass, so it's probably going to take 10+ minutes to boil. In the meantime, we can reconstitute the peppers. Just put them in a small sauce pan under medium heat and simmer them for 5 minutes. Oh, almost forgot. Let's put the rest of the vegetables in the fridge. You don't want them to wilt. *12 minutes elapses* Finally, both our pots have been boiling for a few minutes, so turn the heat down to a simmer on the chili pot. Drain the chipotles and rinse them inder cold water. You are going to be handling these in a moment, so make sure they are cool. Cut the stems off and cut them open length wise. Rub your thumb around in there and try to get rid of the seeds. Doesn't have to be perfect, just get most of them out of there. It helps to do this under running water. You can see all the seeds in the pic here. When you're done, dump them into a food processor and get them as close to a paste as you can. Add them to the pot and stir. Now we wait.
6/25/06 11:32 AM
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alpo
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Edited: 25-Jun-06
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Ok, we are about 90 minutes in, so it's time to add the seasonings and thickener. 1 tbsp chili powder 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp cumin 2 tbsp masa flour (if you have it) or regular white flour I wouldn't worry about the flour clumping. We've still got another hour and a half left to go, so any clumps will have dissolved by then. Stir it around for a couple minutes. If it is still a little watery, you may want to leave the lid off for a while to let it reduce. When it gets to the consistancy that you want, put the lid back on to stifle the evaporation. It's looking pretty good so far. However, as you can see in the following picture, the meat still has quite a way to go. You can still see the hard edges on the cubes. That means it isn't nearly tender enough. In an hour or two, those edges will erode and the connective tissue will break down and the meat will start falling apart.
6/25/06 12:15 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 25-Jun-06
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T minus 45 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables. stir That's pretty much it, folks. Nothing left to do now but wait another 45 min or so. I will type out a more traditional (printable) recipe format when I get a chance later. Stay tuned for the last installment, the serving.
6/25/06 12:18 PM
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NiteProwleR
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Edited: 25-Jun-06
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Posts: 11657
that is bliss in a pot

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