Adapted from Steven Raichlen, Best Ribs Ever (Workman)
Over the years, I’ve heard from numerous grill jockeys who don’t eat pork for a variety of reasons. Well, these meaty beef bones are for you. The recipe features a technique not seen elsewhere in the book: brushing the ribs with fresh garlic oil to add an extra layer of flavor before applying the rub. Combine this with a pugnacious peach and horseradish barbecue sauce and you’ve got ribs designed to give anyone a religious experience.
2 cloves garlic, peeled and pureed in a garlic press
You’ll also need:
METHOD: Smoking in a charcoal grill
Place the garlic and oil in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Brush this garlic oil on both sides of the ribs. Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with Sweet Smoky Barbecue Rub, patting the garlic and spices onto the meat. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate them while you set up the grill.
Place the Cel-Ray soda, if using, in a bucket or bowl for mopping or pour it in a spray bottle.
Set up a charcoal grill for smoking (see page 33) and preheat to low (225° to 250°F), using half of the number of coals you would normally grill with. Place a large drip pan in the center of the grill under the grate.
When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the ribs bone side down in the center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat. Toss 1 ⁄ 2 cup of wood chips on each mound of coals. Cover the grill and cook the ribs for 1 hour.
Mop or spray the ribs on both sides with the Cel-Ray soda, if using. Re-cover the grill and continue cooking the ribs until well browned, cooked through, and tender, 3 to 4 hours longer, 4 to 5 hours in all. If using the Cel-Ray soda, mop the ribs once an hour. Add 1 cup of wood chips after each of the first three hours of cooking and replenish the coals every hour.
Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board and let rest for a few minutes. Serve the ribs at once with the Peach Horseradish Barbecue Sauce on the side.
Yield: Serves: 4
Sweet Smoky Barbecue Rub (Makes about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
Place the brown sugar, sweet paprika, coarse salt, smoked salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic, onion powder, mustard, and celery seed in a bowl and mix with your fingers, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar, garlic powder, or mustard with your fingers. Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat or light; it will keep for several weeks. Plan on using 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of rub per rack of baby backs; more for larger racks of ribs.
Note: Pimentón de la Vera comes in sweet, semisweet, and hot versions. All will work in this rub – choose the one that suits your taste best.
1/4 cup peach preserves
Place the peach preserves, mustard, bourbon, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce in a heavy non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually bring to a boil, whisking the ingredients until smooth. Lower the heat to medium and let the sauce simmer gently until thick and richly flavored, 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely grate the horseradish on a box grater or finely chop it in a food processor.
Remove the sauce from the heat and let cook until warm, then stir in the horseradish. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and more soy sauce if necessary. The sauce can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week. Let it return to room temperature before using.
TIPS: I call for meaty beef short ribs here, but you could also use plate-burying beef long ribs. In that case, you’ll want a 2 1 ⁄ 2- to 3-pound rack of long ribs. These can be smoked low and slow at 225° to 250°F for 4 to 5 hours or grilled using the indirect method at 325° to 350°F for 11 ⁄ 2 to 2 hours. In either case, if the ribs start to dry out before they’re done, wrap them in aluminum foil halfway through. Served at Jewish-style delicatessens, Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray is a celery-flavored soda. It’s available at many delis. If you can’t find it or cream soda, you can also substitute Sprite or ginger ale. The recipe calls for smoking the ribs in a charcoal grill, but the ribs can also be cooked in a smoker.
Recipes: Meat, Beef, Ribs, Grilled, Kosher