Barbeque season is here so it is a good time to review some BBQ basics.
When you cook barbeque, you have three major choices to make:
1. What to barbeque
2. Cooking method
3. Type of BBQ
There are almost an unlimited combination of these three choices. For example, you can barbeque any kind of meat or poultry, even fish or vegetables if you want, although that’s a little more exotic. And within each meat category, there’s different cuts to consider: ribs, briskets, shoulders.
Within the rib category, there are still more decisions to be made: baby back ribs, spare ribs, country style ribs, rib tips. Baby backs are narrower and have curved bones, for example, while spare ribs — sometimes called St. Louis Ribs or Kansas City ribs, depending on how they are butchered — are longer and flatter. All are delicious and perfect for BBQ.
For this dish, I selected country style ribs. They are cut from the blade end of the pork shoulder and are meatier than other types of ribs. They usually contain just one long flat bone at the bottom, making them slightly less messy to eat.
Cooking methods include grilling, smoking, boiling, braising, baking or any combination of any of these methods. Because it was raining, I opted to go with braising.
Finally, there is the type of barbeque to consider. There are two primary types: Dry rub and wet.
Wet entails generously basting what you are cooking with a liquid barbeque sauce during all or part of the cooking process. The result is a sweet, smokey and tacky sauce that perfectly complements sweeter meat such as pork and chicken.
For this dish, I selected dry rub, which is when you rub the meat with a barbeque seasoning made up of a combination of many different herbs and spices before cooking it. You can buy a pre-made rub or you can make one yourself.
Most of the time, I use both methods, starting with a dry rub then brushing barbeque sauce onto the meat during the last portion of the cooking time. Abundanza!
Barbeque has become a rich summertime tradition. Many people ritualize the experience, and there are numerous BBQ competitions and festivals where people share their techniques and serve their secret recipes.
This recipe is no secret, but it is a quick and convenient barbeque dinner you can make to kick off the BBQ season. I served my ribs with a traditional homemade potato salad and some steamed, buttered green beans. If you like, you can serve barbeque sauce on the side, but these ribs were so succulent and flavorful that I didn’t find it necessary.
Country Style Pork Ribs
2 to 3 lb Country style pork ribs
1/2 cup Barbeque rub
1 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Generously rub the pork ribs on all sides with the barbeque rub. Place in a 9″x13″x2″ baking pan and pour the water into the bottom of the pan, being careful not to wash off the rub from the ribs.
2. Use aluminum foil to seal the pan and cook for 90 minutes.
Super easy, right?! Here’s the potato salad recipe:
Traditional Potato Salad
6 to 8 Medium red potatoes
2 eggs, hard boiled
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 white onion
1/3 cup Pickle relish
1 cup Reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 TBS Dijon mustard
Fresh cracked black pepper
Paprika for garnish
1. Boil whole potatoes for about 25 minutes or until cooked through. You can test doneness by sticking a fork into the potato. If it easily slips off the fork, it is ready. Remove from water and set aside until cool enough to handle.
2. Cut potatoes into large dice peices and place in a mixing bowl with the celery. Grate the onion and egg into the bowl. In a separate bowl, make the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, mustard and pickle relish, tasting it to make sure you have the proper balance. Then dress the salad and mix with a spatula. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This salad tastes better if you let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving it so the flavors meld together. Garnish with the paprika.
Do you have any barbeque traditions that you would be willing to share? Tell us all about them in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!