Country-style Ribs

This is an adaptation of Sally Schneider’s Lacquered Baby Back Ribs recipe from her book  A New Way to Cook. The rich and spicy sauce is used both as a marinade and to baste the ribs when they are just about done to give them a nice caramelized finish.

I often do this recipe with country-style ribs instead of baby-backs. Country-style ribs aren’t really ribs. They’re cut from the shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt). There’s a good amount of meat there, along with enough fat to keep them tender when they’re cooked low and slow.

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3-5 pounds of country-style ribs, boneless if possible Continue reading “Country-style Ribs”

Pork Steak

When I was a kid this is the cut of meat that I remember hitting the grill the most often around our house, and for good reason – it’s a tasty, inexpensive cut that cooks fast and is almost impossible to screw up. Perfect for weeknights when you want something quick and great for feeding a crowd.

Pork steak is cut from the shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt). It’s an active muscle group and not particularly tender, so the steaks are usually cut no more than a 1/2 inch thick. The steaks have a lot of marbling, which makes them very flavorful and moist.

For this cook I set my Big Green Egg up for a direct cook at medium-high temperature (about 350-375°F).  There are no nuances to pork steak, so in holding with family tradition I seasoned them heavily with seasoned salt and tossed them on the grill.

With the lip open, I let the steaks cook about a minute on each side before flipping them, and then kept flipping them once a  minute until they were done. When I got flare ups, I just shut the lid down until they stopped, but always tried to keep the meat moving.

How do you tell when pork steaks are done? The USDA says at 160°F internal temp. That’s fine, but these are some fatty steaks and there is little danger of overcooking them. I cooked them for a good 15 to 20 minutes, until much of the fat has rendered out and what’s left has gotten ever so crispy.

Grilled Chicken Thighs & Tamarind Marinade

This is another take on the sweet and succulent chicken you’ll find sizzling on roadside grills around the world. I’ve eaten versions of it from huge open pit grills at our county fair, from tiny pollo asado stands in Mexico, and from a grill made out of an old oil drum on the beach in Belize.

The recipes vary, but the marinade is always the key to this dish. Tart, yet savory, usually with a healthy dose of chiles and other spices. It seasons the meat and helps to keep it juicy. I normally marinate the chicken for at least 36 hours, but I ran short of time and decided to try vacuum marinating to speed up the process. Continue reading “Grilled Chicken Thighs & Tamarind Marinade”

Pulled Beef

After buying our last half of a beef, I discovered that our butcher had unhelpfully labeled all of the roasts as “Roast.” Since now I’m never sure what I’m getting when I take one out of the deep freeze, I needed a roast recipe that would work as well for a top sirloin as it would for a chuck.

I decided to try making pulled beef. This low-and-slow barbecue approach is similar to the one used to make pulled pork, but because of the (relative) lack of fat and connective tissue in some beef roasts, this recipes adds a braising step to ensure that the meat is moist and tender. Continue reading “Pulled Beef”