Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jimmy Findlay of Brothers' Ribs in Palatine says that his dad always told him this about rib tips: Pop it in your mouth, chew it up, and whatever you can't swallow, you spit out.
Tips are about half the price and can contain more meat than a slab of ribs and is as good when you cook them right. Tips are on the move and a lot more people are buying and cooking tips these days. It’s a poor man’s food gone cult.

Cooking rib tips is a three step process: Season, smoke, serve. It is in the second step where restaurants actually put their mark on and make it their own. I’ll be trying some smoke recipes in the next few weeks.

In the mean time, I know people who pre-cook rib tips either in the oven or in the crock pot. They all swear by their method. Here is a recipe that I like and is so easy.

Bon Appetit!

Rib Tips

Like the recipe I use for my ribs, which I boil in vinegar and water and cook on the grill, here is a rib tip recipe that you bake first and then finish off on the grill.

2 pounds pork riblets (or rib tips)

1 to 2 cups of water

salt and pepper to taste

Place rib tips in a roasting pan on a rack with about 1/2 inch of water. Cover tightly and place in the oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees F. Remove ribs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a medium hot grill and baste with Jack Daniel's Rib Glaze. Serve with remaining glaze for dipping.

Jack Daniel's Rib Glaze

1 cup Jack Daniel's Whiskey

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes then allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Note: If you make it a few days in advance the flavors will have time to blend together.

BBQ Ribs

For years, I cooked for a crowd of 50+ on the 4th of July and always made BBQ ribs. A former NFL player that I worked with taught me how to make really great ribs and I always thought that his were the best…then along came Adam Perry Lang and added a whole new dimension to cooking ribs by adding another step – the foil packets.

Here is his recipe. I sent this out to a lot of my friends last year. Charlie adapted the recipe shortly after and ended up winning the Lake Forest Rib Cook-off.

I love ribs and all summer long, I switch off making Jerry’s ribs and this version by Adam Perry Lang.

• 4 racks baby back ribs (approximately 1 1/2 pounds each)

For the spice paste:

• 1/2 cup mustard

• 1/2 cup water

• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

• 1/4 cup chili powder

• 2 tablespoons garlic salt

• 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

For foil packets:

• 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

• 1/2 cup honey

• 1/2 cup apple juice

• 1 cup softened butter

For the barbeque sauce:

• 1 cup favorite BBQ sauce

• 1/4 cup apricot jelly

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1/2 cup water

Yields: 4-6 servings

Preheat an indirect BBQ to 275˚F (use fruitwoods if possible, such as apple).

Spread ribs evenly with Spice Paste.

Place the ribs in the cooker and cook indirect (meaning not in direct exposure to fire) for 2 hours.

While ribs are cooking, combine the barbeque sauce in a bowl and set aside.

When the 2 hours has elapsed, tear off 4 large sheets of aluminum foil (enough to accommodate two racks of ribs side by side). On first sheet, place half of the packet mixture on the foil, top with a rack of ribs meaty side down, and wrap in the foil, crimping to seal securely. Wrap with the second sheet of foil. Repeat for the remaining 2 racks of ribs.

Place the wrapped ribs back in the cooker, and cook for an additional hour.

Remove the wrapped ribs from the cooker and carefully remove from foil packets.

Coat with BBQ sauce. Place back in the BBQ meat side down for 15 minutes, flip over, brush with additional sauce then continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes.