Some of you probably know that I work from home. I have a desk facing out one of my front windows. It's a decent view, but decent really just means I'm not staring at a wall when I take my eyes off the computer screen. Anyhow, I come to the tail end of my morning telecommute and start becoming eager to start lunch because today turned out to a pleasant sunny day, perfect for busting my pad's barbecue cherry.
I moved into this place last October and for some reason I haven't bbq'd here yet. But today was the day to grill what I'd been preparing for nearly three days. Ribs...
I brined them in the base brine mixture from Charcuterie. I believe I've linked to this book before, but really, if you're interested in curing your own meats and stuffing your own sausage, this is probably thee best place to start.
To the base of:
1 l water
1/3 c salt
1/4 c sugar
2 tbs pink salt,
I added the following:
5 juniper berries
1 tsp black pepper corns
2 laurel leaves
1/2 chopped small onion
4 clv garlic
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp chili powder
I got the idea to cure the ribs from my friend JC who lives in LA. He had tried to actually corn his beef ribs, but he had overbrined the ribs thus making salty ribs. My idea was to cure pork ribs to make them taste like bacon. I had previously tried this with the typical bacon curing elements and although tasting good, did not taste like bacon rather more like ham. Due to the failed bacon rib, I'd abandoned that plan and went toward trying to push the ribs to taste like a country ham complete with mustard glaze.
I began by cutting a slab of pork spare ribs into equally portioned segments to reduce a 12 hr brine to a 6 hr brine. After the customary rinse and additional rest day for more equal salt/seasoning distribution throughout the meat, I slow braised them in a mustard-base bbq sauce (see below) wrapped in foil for 6 hrs. I believe it was 6 hrs because I remember starting them late afternoon and pulling them out around 10 o'clock before I went to bed. What I know for certain was that I kept myself awake because I didn't want to set an alarm to wake me up to take out some Goddamned ribs and then go back to bed. That'd just be crazy.
What's crazy is that I got crazy pants in the pantry for the mustard sauce:
1/4 c yellow mustard
1/4 c molasses
1 tsp dried chopped garlic
1 tsp dried chopped onion
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary
I took the ribs out, wrapped them in foil, and poured the braising liquid into a saucepan to later reduce with more mustard and molasses for basting.
All I basically did this afternoon was start the grill, throw the ribs on, baste the hell out of them while the fire did it's magic.
Unfortunately, I cannot describe how these ribs tasted because I brought the ribs in from off the grill to rest, I went back out to gather the rest of my grill crud and when I got back in, this jerk was there and had started in on my ribs:
I was like dude, wtf?!
He just stood there with that gentle arrogant face smirking back at me, so I knocked the rib out of his hands and what did he do? He started barfing up all these collard greens.
It looked like they were made from about 6 oz of homemade bacon, 2 bunches of greens, two self-pickled Fresno peppers, some garlic, black and white pepper, an onion, and I think I smelled molasses and vegetable broth.
At that point, I was just shocked and disgusted. I was so distracted and riddled with disbelief at the temerity of this guy that he was able to make off with the rest of the ribs.
I'm glad I had the presence of mind to stop him from snaking my Easy Cheese.