UP IN SMOKE
ANNOUNCING THE WINNER OF
THE LIP SMACKIN’ RIB RECIPE CONTEST
We knew you loved ribs. But even in this community of smoke-obsessed barbecue fanatics, we were blown away by the response to the Barbecuebible.com Rib Contest.
More than 1100! of you submitted recipes (1144 to be exact)-and your unabashed passion for bones embraced everything from pork to beef to lamb ribs. Not surprisingly, baby backs were the most popular, but plenty of you came up with killer ways to cook spare ribs, country-style ribs, rib tips, and beef ribs, long and short.
The seasonings were unbelievably varied, ranging from the familiar to the exotic, to the downright bizarre. The short list of flavorings you proposed includes ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise (sometimes all three in a single recipe); blackberry, kiwi, mango, papaya, cherry preserves, cherry extract, and believe it or not, anchovies; coffee, tea, root beer, cola, and, of course, every imaginable type of beer. Some of you marinated your ribs in bourbon, tequila, rum, or Wild turkey; others used coffee, tea, pickle juice, vanilla (both beans and extract), cocoa powder, chocolate, chocolate syrup, coconut milk, coconut extract, and peanut butter. One aromatic recipe called for 20 cloves of garlic; another called for both Pepsi and Hershey’s Syrup. Nurse, an insulin shot, please!
Many of you favored double, triple, or even quadruple layers of flavor, starting with a marinade or rub (or both), followed by a mop, squirt, spray, or basting sauce, followed by a glaze or barbecue sauce applied at the end.
The cooking methods you used were as varied as the flavorings. Some of you cooked the ribs low and slow in a smoker or on the grill using the indirect method and lots of wood smoke. Others grilled them directly over the fire. Many of you boiled the ribs first, or baked them in the oven or even blasted them in the microwave, giving them a quick sizzle over hot coals just before serving. Some of you preferred your ribs with a little chew to them; others so fall-off-the-bone tender, you could eat them without teeth.
Given such incredible creativity, diversity, and inspiration, you can well imagine selecting a winner wasn’t easy. (Actually, it was pleasurable torture, requiring the judicial acumen of King Solomon and a superhuman effort to not overeat). We tested the winning recipes right here in Miami.
Ultimately, we’re all winners, because everyone has access to the winning entries on this web site. Peruse these recipes and you’ll get ideas you’ll want to try for everyday eating, special occasion showmanship, and everything in between.
And now for the winner. Envelope please.
The winner of the 2004 Barbecuebible.com Lip Smackin’ Rib Recipe Contest is:
Grampa’s Stick to Your Ribs BBQ’d Pastrami’d Short Ribs, submitted by Jasmina Shane of Bayside New York.
Jasmina’s ribs were sufficiently out of the box to feature a pastrami rub (flavored with star anise, no less) and beef short ribs, which were slow-smoked over hickory until tender, but not soft. A cider vinegar ginger ale mop kept them moist, and an apple mustard “barbecue sauce” made a unique accompaniment. A+ for originality and fine execution. Jasmina will receive a Weber® Summit® Silver A gas grill for her victory.
I also want to call your attention to our five runners-up, whose recipes were very nearly as original and excellent. For their efforts, they’ll receive an autographed hardcopy edition of How to Grill.
Middle East BBQ Ribs, submitted by Jacob Esho of Des Plaines, Illinois. Elegant in their simplicity, featuring a slab not often used in America, lamb ribs.
Hearty Ribs with Sweet Bourbon Sauce, submitted by Lillian Julow from Gainsville, Florida. Interesting ale marinade and not-too-sweet bourbon barbecue sauce.
Big Bubba B’s Apple Back Ribs, submitted by Hugh Bernstein of Baltimore, Maryland. Richly flavorful and amazingly tender.
Peanutty Baby Pork Ribs, submitted by Renata Stanko of Lebanon, Oregon-one of more than a half dozen entries to use peanut butter.
Weber Woodbridge Workman Wosemary Wibs, submitted by the Barbecue Board’s own Vincent Brown of Canton, Georgia. A brine, rub, wrap, mop and dipping sauce give these ribs great complexity and depth of flavor.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t hand out a few honorable mentions (which involve not a prize, but the glory of good recipes):
Loanne Chiu of Fort Worth, Texas, for Tea and Whisky Railroad Ribs
Mary Shivers of Ada, Oklahoma, for Orange Sesame! Baby Back Ribs
Diane Nemitz of Ludington, Michigan, for North Coast Rib Roast, flavored with Michigan cherry concentrate.
Diane Halferty of Corpus Christi, Texas, for Backwoods Bayou Blackberry BBQ-featuring a sauce made with fresh blackberries
Bill Knutson of San Francisco, California, for Baby Back Ribs with Lemongrass Mead Sauce
News and Views
“Indoors-it’s the new outdoors!” With this battle cry, Workman Publishing proudly announces the publication of Steven’s new book, Raichlen’s Indoor Grilling. Two years in the research and writing, the book covers every sort of indoor grilling system, from the fireplace and built-in grills to grill pans and contact grills, like the George Foreman.
Barbecuebible.com’s Info@Workman, aka Amy Lewis, caught up with Steven in Miami to interview him about the new book.
AL: Most people associate you with barbecuing and grilling outdoors. What prompted you to write an indoor grill book?
SR: The short answer is Workman Publishing in New York City. There are literally tens of millions of people who live in apartments or condos in major urban areas. Condo regulations, local fire codes, or simple lack of space prevent them from grilling outdoors. I wanted to write a book that would help apartment dwellers bring those explosive flavors from the outdoors, indoors.
AL: Where does indoor grilling fit in the history of barbecue?
SR: With contact grills and countertop rotisseries, indoor grilling might seem of recent coinage, but in fact, it belongs to a venerable tradition that began with our cave-dwelling forebears. The ancient Romans cooked on indoor hearths, which they called foci. These were so central to human happiness, they gave us our modern words “focus” and “foccacia.” Even for much of American history, most cooking was done in the fireplace.
AL: So how do grilling outdoors and indoors differ?
SR: Outdoor grilling always uses live fire. In general, the cooking temperatures are higher and it’s easy to flavor your food with wood smoke. Some indoor grilling methods, like fireplace grilling or built-in gas grills, use live fire. Others use heated grill grates or plates or electric heating elements to achieve a similar effect.
AL: What sort of grills do you cover?
SR: Every available indoor grill. The short list includes Tuscan and fireplace grills, built-in (range top) grills, grill pans, free-standing grills, contact grills, countertop rotisseries, and stovetop smokers.
AL: Is it hard bringing those “outdoor” flavors indoors?
SR: It depends on the grill. Fireplace grilling is virtually the same as grilling over wood in an outdoor grill. A built-in grill works quite similar to a gas grill. On the other hand, it’s more challenging to indirect grill or smoke foods indoors. In some recipes, I “indirect grill” pork shoulders and ribs in a countertop rotisserie. In others, I’ve created smoke-flavored bastes and marinades to achieve the smoky taste of true ‘que.
AL: Is there anything you can’t do on an indoor grill?
SR: Well, I’ve never barbecued a whole pig indoors. But the book features several spit-and smoke-roasted pork shoulders; smoky baby back ribs, a magnificent spit-roasted rib roast and even a whole Moroccan spiced leg of lamb you roast in the fireplace. And thanks to the advent of indoor smokers, like the Camerons Stovetop Smoker cooker, you can smoke salmon, ribs, briskets, turkeys, and even beer can chickens, indoors.
AL: Is there anything you can grill indoors that you can’t do outdoors?
SR: This is the first book in which I’ve focus