Friday, June 5, 2009

What Not To Cook - Salty Smoked Ribs

Not everything we make is delicious. Sometimes we spend hours cooking and photographing a dish only to take two bites and dump it into the garbage.

Let it be known that my father makes the best smoked pork ribs this side of the Mississippi. They are so good he won't even tell me, his beloved and only child, his secret recipe. You know, the child that fly fishes with him, trades jokes with him...the one that everyone who knows us calls "his mini-me". Let's not forget that his genes die with me!

In an attempt to be all "fine, we don't need your stinkin' ribs anyway" we got our own Bradley smoker (thanks, Ny!) so that we could attempt our own rib recipes. No matter how hard we try though, we always fail.

This time, I was certain that we had nailed it. My husband even did a few small jigs over how we were going to be all "in your face!" to my dad's ribs. After driving our stomachs crazy with the smell of hickory all afternoon, we dug in.

All I can say is, thank god I had made cornbread muffins.

What We Did Wrong:
1 rack pork ribs
1/2 cup red peppercorns, cracked
1/2 cup black peppercorns, cracked
1/4 salt
Rub ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil. Smoke with hickory at 225 F for 4.5 hours.
Analysis: 1/4 salt? What were we thinking? We're the people that don't use table salt and regularly come in under the sodium allowance for the day. Salt was the major killer in this dish.
Red peppercorns added a special flavor, but way too much of that somethin' somethin'. The foil, although it kept the ribs moist, prevented the smoke from penetrating the inner layers of the meat.
If We Could Do It Again:
1 rack pork ribs
1/4 cup black peppercorns, cracked
1/8 cup red peppercorns, cracked
1 tbs salt
Rub ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil for first 2 hours and smoke with hickory at 225 F. After two hours, remove foil and continue to smoke for 2.5 hours.

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