this past weekend saw another instillation of ‘ribapalooza’ at our house. this was the 5th annual. and the hottest (i believe it was officially “the hottest july 4th on record” per our friendly weatherman, at 105 degrees!). ribapalooza is best described as a rib contest without any real rules, save that your entry must be ribs of some sort (a few years back our friend michael entered ‘fish ribs’!) and you must have them ready for 4pm judging, give or take. this year’s entries included st. louis, baby back and beef ribs with all manner of preparation methods represented: roasted, barbecued, smoked, etc. there were glazes made with soda, cherry sauces, jalapeno-honey lacquers and much, much more.
each entrant places as many of his or her ribs as there are judges into a nondescript container that is given a number. each entry is brought to the judge’s table individually by one of mediators (we don’t really call them that, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?) so they are judged solely on their own merits, not compared with one another. the ribs are judged in four categories: appearance, taste, tenderness/texture, and originality. we’re really getting serious these days, too. we have real-live trophies and a bonafide graphics department makin’ everything look real official (thanks, casey!).
here is the lucky winner from this year, frank mancuso from saint arnold beer. the winning rib recipe was made with, what else, saint arnold root beer (their only non-alcoholic offering). i was lucky enough to take 3rd! there is always plenty of sangria, a keg of saint arnold and plenty of heat on hand.
frank has generously offered up his award-winning recipe for you, dear readers.
after all, ‘there is no delight in owning anything unshared’, right?
Saint Arnold Root Beer Ribs
For the rub:
1/4 cup of salt
1/4 cup of brown sugar
2 1/2 tbs. of black pepper
4 teaspoons of mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons of chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon of allspice
For the glaze:
2 cups of Saint Arnold Root Beer
1 cup of Heinz Chili Sauce (or Ketchup)
1/2 cup of mustard
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of molasses
2-4 teaspoons of chipotle powder
Two racks of St Louis ribs
1/4 cup of Saint Arnold Root Beer
Coat the ribs with the rub, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least four hours.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees and bring the ribs to room temperature.
In a foil-lined large baking or roasting pan, arrange the ribs with the meat side up, pour in 1/4 cup of Saint Arnold Root Beer, cover pan tightly with foil and place in the oven.
Meanwhile, place all the glaze ingredients in a pan, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until thick and syrupy.
After an hour and a half, take the ribs out of the oven and spread some of the glaze on each side of the racks. Place back in the oven, meat side up and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, take out the ribs and spread more glaze over them and cook for 30 more minutes or until ribs are desired tenderness.
At this point, take the ribs out of the oven, spread more glaze on them and then cook each side under the broiler for four minutes.
Divide and serve!
after some grumbling and some smack talking from our non meat-eating friends, we added a mac ‘n’ cheese competition on the side. congratulations to chris for winning the cheese crown with his very austin-type entry, complete with avocado.
congrats to all the winners and many thanks to all who participated to make ribapalooza V a success.