Monday, May 11, 2015

Tabasco Smokin' Firehouse Pork Ribs

      Although it is now very much spring here in Northern Michigan and my cooking intuition normally shifts into full gear for BBQ or smoking meat outside, sometimes the weather isn't on the same schedule I am.  There is one rib recipe that I can make anytime of year.  Pork ribs usually scream for wood smoke or an open grill, but Tabasco has a recipe that I have used several times year around, always with great results. 
      McIlhenny and Company holds an annual competition allowing firemen to trade in their Turnout Coats and Scott Packs for aprons and spice racks.  Firefighters across the U.S. compete for the title of America’s “Hottest” Firehouse Cook and a $10,000 Grand Prize in the TABASCO® Cook & Ladder® Competition.  

      Visiting this website you can see there are many tantalizing recipes.  I have had great results with this one, the best part being you can prepare it anywhere/anytime.   The use of Tabasco Chipotle Sauce adds a distinctive SW flavor which is delicious.  This recipe was a finalist in the third national TABASCO® Cook & Ladder® Competition, submitted by firefighter Greg Drazkowski, Menomonie Fire Department, Wisconsin.  These ribs are delicious and have only a mild heat, but are not HOT/Spicy.  You can, however, adjust the Tabasco amounts according to your own tastes. 
      With any BBQ the most important part for any good cook is to select the best possible cut of meat, in this case a nice rack of pork spareribs.  Meaty, with some marbled fat equals taste!   I've never tried it with beef ribs, but it is an interesting idea.

      I look for a balanced amount of meat to fat ratio, but will still trim the excess fat and any remaining chine bone interference from the ribs before cooking.  I cut the ribs into 2 rib sections and then place in a large baking pan with some water, covered, and baked for about 90 minutes. 
      Next, you combine all the ingredients into a sauce pan (and it is a considerable amount).  Place it on the stove and bring heat to boil, then turn down to simmer while stirring (I use a whisk).  You have the luxury to simmer these, while occasionally stirring, for awhile if needed. 

      After 90 minutes uncover the ribs and pour desired (but not all) amount of sauce over the ribs and place back into the oven uncovered for an additional 45 minutes.  When finished you may serve with additional sauce on the side if you like.  This meal is delicious with corn on the cob, mashed taters, baked beans, steamed vegees, cornbread, or any combination you might desire. 
These ribs are tender, delicious, and only a bit spicy.....the perfect year-round dish for those looking to satisfy their BBQ Jones amytime.  So, the next time you're hankerin' for ribs and the weather isn't you go.

WiFi courtesy of my IPhone tethered Hot Spot

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