Is there anyone that doesn't like smoked ribs, with a lip smacking sauce to dip them in? Ok, maybe there are a few people that don't, and that's fine. But these might make them change their minds. They're just so damn good!
Do any of you guys read Thursday Night Smackdown? If you don't, you should! Michelle's blog is an adventure in cooking, and doing it with humor and gusto. There are ups and downs, spectacular food and a couple that were better left in the pages of the cookbook they came from. This post and this one come to mind--there's some good reading right there! But Michelle and her cohort/sous chef, Brian, share the good and the bad from their cooking experiences.
In July, Michelle opened up TNS to her readers, for First Thursdays. On the first Thursday of every month, she posts a round up of her reader's submitted recipes. September's Smackdown theme is grilling. And since I've missed the first two, there's no way in hell I'm missing this one! So yeah, I'm early, hehe.
These ribs are fantastic! They're from the book BH&G Smoke Cooking. We've been looking at this recipe for a while, but you know, you gotta plan ahead if you want to smoke stuff (the 13 year old in me just giggled)! So knowing what the TNS theme was, I pulled out this book, and we decided to finally make them. By "we," I mean my husband Billy and I. He's the guy in charge of grilling/smoking.
There's a little out of the way place in the next town over that's a slaughterhouse/retail and wholesale meat place called Lemay & Sons. I never even knew they were there, but I was in search of something else (that will be posted in about a week or so--it takes that long to make it) and they were the only ones that had it. I was directed there by another butcher in the area. Anyway, this is the kind of place you go to for a whole pig or half a cow, or even something as small as a pound of ground buffalo meat. Good to know! They have lots of different cuts of meats and great prices, as well. They didn't have the beef back ribs that we were looking for on that day, so we went with porky baby back ribs. Two racks, totaling 5 pounds, to be specific. We also picked up a couple pounds of that buffalo meat for later. Can't beat $3.99 a pound! That's cheaper than ground beef!
The ribs! Very straightforward recipe, and the book also has some tips on smoking. They're smoked with a simple dry rub, and brushed with a sauce in the last 15 minutes of cooking, with more of the sauce served alongside. The sauce is also very simple, made with bottled bbq sauce, orange, ginger and soy sauce.
We did run into some trouble, though it was no fault of the recipe. Damn thunderstorms that we've had nearly every day this summer. grrrr. Everything was going great, nice fire, good smoke...then a couple hours into it, the sky opened up and poured buckets all over our smoker. After the lightning stopped and we were able to get out and check it, we found the fire had gone out. For whatever reason, we just couldn't get a good smoke going after that and gave up after about an hour. We brought them in the house and gave them a couple more hours in the oven at 200°. Perfect! Still nice and smoky, but also tender and juicy.
Ginger Orange Smoked Baby Back Ribs
adapted from BH&G Smoke Cooking
4 cups mesquite wood chips
3 tsp regular paprika
3 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
5 pounds baby back ribs (2 racks)
1 cup of your favorite bottled bbq sauce
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
At least one hour before you want to start cooking, soak the wood chips in enough water to cover them. Set aside.
In your smoker or grill, arrange the heated coals, half the drained wood chips and a water pan according to the manufacturers directions.
Pour water into pan and place the ribs, bone side down, on the grill rack over the pan.
Cover and smoke for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until ribs are tender, and brush some of the sauce on the ribs in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
Add more coals, wood chips and water as needed during smoking time.
Serve sauce with the ribs.
What's that? Where's the side dish?
We don't need no stinkin' side dish! We can just stuff our faces with ribs and be perfectly happy, hehe. But if I'd thought of it ahead of time, I'd have whipped up some cole slaw to go alongside. D'oh!
Go check out Thursday Night Smackdown and get your entries ready for the first Thursday in September!