Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Who says Tim can't cook?

So last Friday I was checking my email at work and saw there was a rib cooking contest this Wednesday on Hansen. I, being the guy who appreciates spending a work day before a long weekend hanging out in front of a grill, threw my hat in the ring.

(I haven't cooked ribs before)

I pulled up a recipe that Friday and gave it a dry run on Saturday with the family... horrible. Simply, horrible. They ate it, said they enjoyed it... they must have eaten different ribs. The truth was in the full plates and the fact there are leftovers still in the fridge.

Too late. I was entered. I figured at least the judges were the ones eating it and at least I could get a good laugh from watching them choke it down.

So last night (Tuesday) I Skype a buddy of mine whose wife is an executive chef here on the island and asked the best way to trim pork spareribs. She pointed me to THIS SITE which does a marvelous job. Thanks, Heather.

I trimmed them down, applied the dry rub, and loaded my tiny tiny car with two grills and a cooler... somehow I fit as well with just enough room to drive.

I started setting up at about 8:30, started to smoke the ribs at about 9:30/10 for a 1:00 judging.
I took them off the smoker grill, tossed them on the regular grill for the sauce to congeal, made a platter presentation, crossed my fingers and went in front of the judges.

I was the middle recipe. You remember the first, you remember the last... I drew the wrong straw.

This was one of those where you have to explain everything you did working up to the day, during your cooking, how you came about it... but before I was done, there wasn't a bit of meat on anyone's bone.

Good sign....I think... maybe they were just hungry.

I waited, watched a few others go up... there were some good ribs out there and guys who entered and won this thing with regularity.

Is "a shoe-out" a term?

The Colonel who headed the judging panel got up, said the first place was an easy pick... most judges had the same #1 and the others had it as their #2. The complicated part was the #2 and #3 from the group. I heard as they called the #3 and #2 and started to pack my things when I heard my name.

Holy bat poop.

I didn't even get to taste them.

$100 of groceries, a big propane grill thing, 5 cases of gatorade, some other prizes...

I was looking at it all when a co-worker came up and said, "Don't worry, I'll toss it in my truck and take it to my house and you can pick it up when you want."

Thanks, Brian.

So... as a side effect of my winning, I get to host the team (my co-workers) to an Independence Day cook-out at my place.

Maybe I'll get to taste them this time.

For those who'd like the recipe, here it is... for 16 lbs of ribs... adjust accordingly

Dry Rub:
1/4 c kosher salt (I used sea salt)
1/4 c packed brown sugar (I used dark)
1/4 c paprika
3 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed

let it sit in the fridge overnight

Get the grill smoky with your charcoal and mesquite all smushed over to one side.

Over the coals, on the grill, put a pan or two with 1 orange, 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 apple, and 1 onion. Fill up the pan with merlot and a little water. This is going to steam and mix with the smoke from the wood chips and infuse in the meat.

On the other side of the grill, not over the fire, lay out the rack to cook.

I kept an eye on the temp and tried to adjust it to stay around 250F It'd bounce a bit from 210-300, but pretty consistent.

Turn about every 30 min and check on the smoke and liquid levels to make sure both stay high.

When they're done (when the meat is retracting from the bone tips... check the internal temp along the bone with a thermometer) remove from the smoking grill and lay on a "grilling" grill for the sauce, which is:

1/2c ketchup
1/4c lime juice
1/4c soy sauce
1/4c merlot

lather this on and flip it 2-3 times coating it about twice on each side well and it should congeal up to a semi-sticky "finger licking" consistency.

serve it up.

I placed it on the platter surrounded by the onions and fruit which were cooked in the merlot and it looked and smelled marvelous.

Use it, don't use it, it was good enough to impress those guys.

Anyone want a gatorade?


PJD said...

Judith called me this morning to tell me your story. So I bopped over to your blog to take a first hand look. I also sent this to Tom, my brother, to share with him.
Congratulations, Tim.
Paul J. D.

Hi, My name is: Tim said...

Thanks, Paul.

Just John said...

Wow; congrats! Very impressive.

iamnotachef said...

Thanks for the link!