Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Grawed Down To The Bone

Awake the Lakes “Where Summer Begins and the Fun Never Ends” is a Memorial Day Weekend festival in Alexandria, MN, that includes activities for the entire family. Friday kicked off the weekend with the popular Rib Fest and Beer Garden and music.

To celebrate the start of summer, we fired up the grill to make some award winning Baby Back Ribs.

1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
3 pounds baby back pork ribs
1 cup barbeque sauce

Preheat grill for high heat.
In a small jar, combine cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Close the lid, and shake to mix.
Trim the membrane sheath from the back of each rack. Run a small, sharp knife between the membrane and each rib, and snip off the membrane as much as possible. Sprinkle as much of the rub onto both sides of the ribs as desired. To prevent the ribs from becoming too dark and spicy, do not thoroughly rub the spices into the ribs. Store the unused portion of the spice mix for future use.
Place aluminum foil on lower rack to capture drippings and prevent flare-ups. Lightly oil grate, and lay ribs on top rack of grill. Reduce heat to low, close lid, and leave undisturbed for 1 hour. Do not lift lid at all.
Brush ribs with barbecue sauce, and grill an additional 5 minutes. Serve ribs as whole rack, or cut between each rib bone and pile individually on a platter.

As with barbecue cooking, barbecue sauces have regional characteristics. Kansas City-style sauce is the most common nationwide. It has a tomato or ketchup base and pronounced sweet, sour and smoky elements. Barbecue sauce from nearby St. Louis usually has a tomato foundation but without the smoke (which normally comes from bottled liquid smoke). North Carolina's barbecue sauce, traditionally put on that state's beloved pulled pork shoulder at the table, is vinegar-based; the sauce is clear in eastern North Carolina and tomato-red in the western half.

A young, bold, fruity and spicy red wine, such as a Rhone Syrah or an Aussie Shiraz, will stand up to those smoky, spicy, and typically sweet flavored barbecue sauces.

So, if the weather is good this week, I’m sure you will get the smell of a barbecue fire wafting through your window. Join in the rib tickling fun!